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Apr-30-2009 07:32printcomments

Senate Votes for Bills to Help Deployed Soldiers and Their Families

Both bills passed today will now go to the Governor for his signature.

Oregon soldiers deployed in Afghanistan, January 2007
Oregon soldiers deployed in Afghanistan, January 2007 photo by Tim King

(SALEM, Ore.) - With over 2500 Oregon soldiers being deployed this weekend, the Senate passed two pieces of legislation that will recognize the sacrifice of our service men and women and their families.

HB 2303 reinforces the protection provided by the federal Service Member’s Civil Relief Act of 2003 (SCRA).

The SCRA provides a wide range of protections for active service members against outstanding credit card debt, mortgage payments, pending trials and taxes.

Currently, some businesses ignore the SCRA and charge interest, penalties, and late fees in excess of what the law allows.

HB 2303 allows a service member to obtain attorney’s fees and damages if they notify the party at least 30 days prior to legal action that they are protected by the SCRA.

“It is intolerable that our men and women in uniform are being taken advantage of by creditors while they’re off fighting for our country,” said Senator Martha Schrader (D-Canby).

“Some banks are blatantly ignoring the law and this legislation will help restore fairness for Oregon soldiers and their families.”

HB 2762 was also passed in the Senate this morning. The bill designates May 8th of each year as Military Family Appreciation Day.

Events are planned across the state for Oregon’s first Military Family Appreciation Day next Friday, May 8th.

“We’re about to witness the largest troop deployment in Oregon since World War II,” said Senate Majority Leader Richard Devlin (D-Tualatin).

“This is the type of gesture that we hope sends a signal to Oregon’s military families of our respect for their sacrifice.”

Both bills passed today will now go to the Governor for his signature.

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