Pay Support at Home

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State and public education employees called to active military duty for the war on terrorism will be getting an extra check to make up the difference between their state pay and their military pay.

State Attorney General Bill Pryor has issued an opinion saying the state must make up the difference if a National Guard member or Reservist is making less on military duty than he or she makes working for the state.

The opinion is based on a bill the Alabama Legislature passed in the final days of the current session.

The bill that originally passed the House would have only given the Guard members and Reservists a break on college tuition if called to active duty.

But state Senator Jimmy Holley of Elba said he moved to amend the bill in the Senate after hearing from constituents who told him they were hurting financially because a family member had been called to active duty.

State Personnel Director Tommy Flowers said he asked Pryor for the opinion "to make sure that state agencies had a consistent interpretation.''

State Rep. Terry Spicer of Elba said it's not unusual for enlisted Guard and Reservists to have their pay cut by 50 percent when called to active duty.