House Advances Unemployment Benefits for Military Spouses

(KCPW News) A bill aimed at providing more support to military families who are transferred out of state passed unanimously out of the House of Representatives this morning. Democratic Representative Lynn Hemingway, sponsor of HB 263, says it provides unemployment benefits for military spouses who are forced to quit their jobs when their husband or wife is re-located.

“A lot of time the spouse is the major wage earner in the family, so for them to give up their job to move, they need to be able to collect unemployment,” he tells KCPW. “As you know, if you voluntarily leave a job you don’t get unemployment, so, what this bill does is allow people who leave their job to follow their spouse to collect unemployment from the state of Utah.”

Hemingway says Utah is currently one of just 10 states that don’t already do this for military families, and it won’t come at too high a cost.

“The unemployment group did a study and they said if we had this bill in place in 2010, there would have only been nine people. So, it’s not a huge number, but it’s critical to those families who it happens to,” he says.

Hemingway says he was urged by the Department of Defense to run the legislation. It now goes to the Utah Senate.