Senate Approves Turner Bill To Provide Unemployment For Military Spouses Forced To Quit Jobs

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Shirley Turner to permit spouses of armed forces personnel who are forced to relocate outside of the State to collect unemployment benefits was approved by the full Senate.

“Our military families are regularly forced to move to bases in other states and countries as orders change,” said Senator Turner, D-Mercer. “These moves can wreak havoc on their financial well-being and extending unemployment benefits to spouses affected by these moves can bring peace of mind to those who protection our nation.”

Senator Turner added, “They shouldn’t be forced to lose their financial well-being just to stay together. In my mind, that goes against true American family values.”

The bill, S-746/2104, provides that if a spouse is otherwise eligible in all respects to obtain unemployment benefits, then he or she may receive those benefits.

The bill was introduced to avoid the problem created when a member of the armed forces is ordered to move outside the State and the member’s family usually is forced to relocate requiring the spouse to quit their job. Current law prohibits the spouse from qualifying for unemployment insurance benefits because the separation from work was voluntary and without good cause attributable to the work.

“Supporting our military families is one of the most basic American family values,” added Senator Turner. “Our military families make so many sacrifices, both on and off the battlefield, we should try and reduce the challenges they must face on the home front.”

The bill was approved by a vote of 36-0. It now goes to the Assembly for their consideration.

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