States protecting citizen-soldiers' pay

The war in Iraq and Afghanistan has generated the largest mobilization of the National Guard and Reserves since World War II. Of 400,000 in the Guard and Reserves, almost 140,000 are on active duty, and about 40 percent take a pay cut when mobilized. In response, today's Stateline.org top story reports, thirty states have enacted legislation to cover the gap between state pay and military pay for their active-duty employees. And while not all states have pay-gap laws, nearly all offer some financial assistance to their employees and others on lengthy Guard duty -- for child support, rent, in-state college tuition, and health care. (A map accompanying the article provides a visual overview of the states that have pay-gap laws.) The federal government, the single largest employer of Guard members and reservists, has yet to enact a pay-gap law. Last year both houses of Congress passed separate measures but a House-Senate conference committee rejected them as too expensive.


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