National Guard or Reservist Public Officials 2010 Legislation

Last updated: November 10, 2010

NCSL Staff Contact: Brooke Oleen or Jim Reed, Denver, (303) 364-7700

For some, answering the call of duty means joining the military. For others, it means running for political office. But for a small group of people, it means both. Since September 11, 2001, increasing numbers of National Guard and Reserve members have been called up for longer and more frequent tours of duty. Recognizing the difficulties elected officials who are called to active duty may face, state legislators have introduced legislation that addresses maintaining the elected position of the public official.

This year, in legislation providing that municipal officials can be removed from office for missing meetings for 90 consecutive days, Alabama exempted officials who are absent from meetings due to military service. 

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STATES
BILL SUMMARY
Alabama

H.B. 527
Passed House 3/9/10
This bill provides that a mayor, council member, or city commissioner, whose presence would count toward establishing a quorum, who misses all council or commission meetings for 90 consecutive days, would be removed from office by operation of law. This bill provides for exceptions for those officials absent as a result of military service and those officials whose absences are excused by a majority vote of the council or commission for extenuating circumstances.

 

S.B. 395
Became law without governor’s signature 4/22/10, Act 611
Provides that certain municipal officials who miss all council or commission meetings under certain conditions would be removed from office by operation of law; provides for a record of attendance by municipal officials at council or commission meetings even where a quorum is not present; and to provide for an exception for military service as well as reinstatement based on extenuating circumstances as approved by a majority vote of the council or commission.

Alaska
none
Arizona
none
Arkansas
none
California
none
Colorado
none
Connecticut
none
Delaware
none
District of Columbia
none
Florida
none
Georgia
none
Guam
none
Hawaii
none
Idaho
none
Illinois
none
Indiana
none
Iowa
none
Kansas
none
Kentucky
none
Louisiana
none
Maine
none
Maryland

H.B. 682
Authorizes the General Assembly to enact legislation to provide for the prompt and temporary replacement of an incumbent member of the House of Delegates or the Senate of Maryland who is unavailable to perform the duties of the office because the member is ordered to active duty in the armed services of the United States; and submits the amendment to the qualified voters of the state of Maryland for their adoption or rejection.

 

H.B. 691
Requires the governor to appoint a temporary successor to serve in the General Assembly for an absent member called to active duty in the armed services under specified circumstances; requires the governor to make the appointment from a list of nominees submitted by a specified central committee; requires a temporary successor to have specified qualifications and meet specified eligibility requirements; makes the Act contingent on the passage and ratification of a specified constitutional amendment.

Massachusetts
none
Michigan

S.J.R. D
Proposes an amendment to the State Constitution of 1963, by amending §8 of Article IV, to provide for temporary replacement members of the legislature if a member is called to active military service.

Minnesota

H.F. 2405
Passed House 5/14/10
S.F. 2586
Relates to the legislature; proposes an amendment to the Minnesota Constitution, Article IV, §4; provides for temporary successors to members of the legislature called into active military service.

Mississippi
none
Missouri
none
Montana
No Regular 2010 Session
Nebraska
none
Nevada
No Regular 2010 Session
New Hampshire
none
New Jersey
none
New Mexico
none
New York
none
North Carolina
none
North Dakota
No Regular 2010 Session
Ohio
none
Oklahoma
none
Oregon
No Regular 2010 Session
Pennsylvania

H.B. 1202
Proposes an amendment to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, authorizing legislation to allow persons in the National Guard or in a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States, whether activated or not, to hold public office concurrently with their service.

Puerto Rico
none
Rhode Island
none
South Carolina
none
South Dakota
none
Tennessee
none
Texas
No Regular 2010 Session
Utah
none
Vermont
none
Virginia
none
Washington
none
West Virginia
none
Wisconsin

A.J.R. 11
Failed to pass pursuant to Senate Joint Resolution 1 4/28/10
Currently, a legislator does not vacate his or her office if he or she accepts a short periodof active duty as a member of the reserve or serves in the armed forces during an emergency declared by the governor. This proposed constitutional amendment, proposed to the 2009 legislature on first consideration, provides that a legislator does not vacate his or her seat if he or she performs ordered military duty for any periodduring his or her term in office. The amendment specifies that “ordered military duty” is military duty performed in the armed forces of the United States as a result of being called to duty, drafted, or activated, including attendance at any service school conducted by the armed forces of the United States as a voluntary member of the National Guard or of any reserve component of the armed forces of the United States pursuant to orders issued by competent state or federal authority. The amendment further provides that a legislator on ordered military duty may appoint a temporary acting legislator in his or her place, subject to approval by a vote of the majority of members elected to the house of the legislator in which the legislator serves. The temporary acting legislator serves in office until the legislator on ordered military duty returns or his or her term expires, whichever occurs first. A proposed constitutional amendment requires adoption by two successive legislatures, and ratification by the people, before it can become effective.

Wyoming
none

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