The Foreign Service Journal, June 2022

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | JUNE 2022 59 AFSA NEWS New Virginia, Maryland Laws Benefit the FS For members of the Foreign Service who reside in Vir- ginia and Maryland, AFSA is pleased to announce the recent passage of two bills into state law. On April 1, Virginia Gover- nor Glenn Youngkin signed House Bill 540 into law. Sponsored by Virginia House Delegate Danica A. Roem (D-Manassas), this legislation grants the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles the ability to extend Virginia driver’s license validity from three years beyond expiration to six years beyond expiration for U.S. personnel serving overseas, including members of the Foreign Service, their spouses and dependents. The extension cannot exceed six years from the license’s original expiration date. This law will go into effect on July 1. On April 12, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed Senate Bill 218 into law. Sponsored by Maryland State Senator Will C. Smith Jr. (D-Silver Spring), SB 218 gives the state’s Motor Vehicle Administration the ability to issue temporary renewals of a driver’s license or identifica- tion card for all members of the Foreign Service (whether serving overseas or domesti- cally) for up to two years after the original expiration date. These temporary renew- als will also be granted to the Foreign Service member’s spouse and dependents. This law will go into effect on Oct. 1. AFSA thanks the sponsors of both bills for including members of the Foreign Service under these new provisions.We are increasing advocacy for similar legislation in the District of Columbia. n The Secretary Addresses Payroll Issues AFSAwelcomed Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s April 29 announcement that the State Department will pay interest for any pay, allowance or differential that has been delayed beyond 30 days due to implementation of the new payroll software system in Feb. 2021. The policy will apply to personal services contractors, U.S. direct hires and eligible family members. AFSA filed a cohort griev- ance in Feb. 2022 seeking, among other remedies, interest for those adversely affected. We also welcome the Secretary’s advocacy on the CGFS Payroll Portal, which has been a source of frustration for all those seeking answers from CGFS. AFSA continues to call for a full resolution and investigation. n