Proposed Assistance for Families of Deployed Soldiers

MONTGOMERY— A state representative has asked Governor Bob Riley to include a bill aimed at providing assistance for families of guardsmen and reservists deployed overseas among items to be considered in a special session later this summer.

Rep. Jack Williams, R-Vestavia Hills, said the agenda for the special session should include a bill to create a voluntary checkoff on Alabama income tax forms to provide assistance to families of Alabama National Guard and Reserve members deployed overseas. "Many of these families take drastic pay cuts when they are called to active duty. I think it is imperative that as these men and women risk their lives we should be looking for ways to ease their mind about family matters back home," Williams said.

Similar legislation was introduced earlier this year by Sen. Gerald Dial, D-Lineville, and Rep. Terry Spicer, D-Elba, but it died on the final day of the regular session. "If we wait until next year's regular session we will postpone helping these families by another year," Williams said.

Riley has said the special session will likely start in mid-July, and the agenda will include the General Fund budget and a bill to give state employees a four percent raise and switch their paychecks from every two weeks to twice a month.

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