President signs law changing Guard paid leave policy

The Minnesota lawmakers got involved in the issue after they learned a group of 2,000 Minnesota Guard soldiers would be affected.

ADVERTISEMENT
The Pentagon had created a post-deployment leave program in 2007 to give Guard members extra time off if they deployed overseas more than 12 months in a five-year period.

Initially the service members received four days paid leave per month, but in October that was reduced to one-to-two days.

The legislation from Kline and Klobuchar reversed that policy for those in the Guard who were already deployed before October. They said the difference could add up to as many as 27 days of paid leave.

Kline had pushed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to grandfather in the deployed soldiers but after the Pentagon declined to, the lawmakers went forward with legislation, which passed the House on a voice vote and the Senate by unanimous consent.