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Senate Panel Advances Bill Protecting Servicemember Finances

The National Guard

Legislation approved by a Senate panel Tuesday aims to bolster financial protections for active duty National Guard members and reservists.

The federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act doesn’t necessarily extend to those people, so the Attorney General’s office made a state-level protection bill part of its agenda for this session.

The measure helps protect Guard members and reservists who’ve been on active duty for at least 30 days from foreclosures and default.

Chief Deputy Attorney General Matt Light says it also allows them to suspend certain contracts, including residential leases.

“Satellite radio contracts, cell phone contracts, internet service contracts – the types of things where you might pay for a number of months or for a year but then if you’re called up on active duty, you’re not going to get the benefit of that contract,” Light says.

Some servicemember organizations noted the legislation doesn’t specifically mention reservists in the bill’s protections.  Light says reservists are meant to be included and encouraged lawmakers to clarify the bill’s language to specifically make reservists part of the bill.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.