Monday, January 16, 2012

Service members' call of duty honored in flurry of legislative action

Talk about walking the talk.

The House of Representatives today got down to the serious business of standing up for citizens who’ve gone out of their way to stand up for their country. Military folks -- citizens who put their lives on hold, and all too often put their lives on the line -- shouldn't have to look over their shoulders and wonder what's going on with their parental, legal and education rights back home. That's the message hammered home this morning in a trio of measures among the very first bills to win House of Representatives approval in the 2012 legislative session.

House Bill 1050, prime-sponsored by state Rep. John McCoy, protects the rights of military parents. The legislation:

* Allows a military parent to ask the court to delegate the parent's residential time with a child if the parent's military orders involve being more than one night away when the parent is scheduled to have time with a child.

* And provides that the delegation provision applies when establishing a parenting plan or court order, not just when modifying an existing plan or order.

House Bill 1615, prime-sponsored by state Rep. Connie Ladenburg, safeguards the legal rights for all of our citizens called up to active duty. The measure makes sure National Guard members can count on the same legal protections when they are called up in response to a state emergency as they now receive when they are called to service by the president.

 House Bill 1221, prime-sponsored by state Rep. Fred Finn, will see to it that colleges and universities provide a chance for reservist students to make up any tests they miss if they're called to active duty or military training for a month or less. This legislation fills a gap in current state law that can adversely impact men and women who are either involved in military drills and training or are called to duty in response to natural disasters that might run less than 30 days.
The three military bills passed the House unanimously and will now receive further consideration in the Senate.

To read this story in Spanish, click here.