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Bill to Help Combat Soldiers Reunite with Families Passes Committee

(JUNEAU) -  The Senate State Affairs Committee today passed out of committee legislation allowing spouses of soldiers serving in combat zones to take ten days of job-protected leave without pay when their loved ones visit home from the battlefield. SB 278, sponsored by Senator Bill Wielechowski (D-Anchorage), applies to spouses of military personnel who are on leave from deployment during a period of military conflict in an area that is designated a combat zone by the President.

"Our combat soldiers and their families are making tremendous sacrifices to protect our freedoms and our way of life," said Wielechowski. "The least we can do is to make sure they can spend time together during the short respite from war."

Through passage of this legislation, Alaska will join California, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington in passing similar laws to protect the jobs of military families. 

SB 278 will be heard next in the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee.

Representative Pete Petersen (D-Anchorage) has sponsored companion legislation in the State House.

(For more information, please contact George Ascott at (907) 465-2435)

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