Senate approves Fain-sponsored protections for servicemembers

Kent Reporter

The men and women of the military, National Guard or reserves, can be called away at a moment’s notice, but with long-term contracts for everything from internet to a gym membership, it’s not without costs.

New legislation allowing service members to cancel or suspend a service contract because of deployment or move Thursday passed the state Senate.

“The people who sacrifice a great deal for our country do so knowing their lives could be upended at a moment’s notice,” said Joe Fain, R-Auburn. “While the men and women of the military protect us at home and abroad, this is a small but important step we can take to protect them from costs beyond their control.”

The legislation expands the state Service members Civil Relief Act to exempt military service members from fees or penalties associated with termination of a contract for internet, cell phone plan, television, or radio contract as well as a gym membership.

“I am committed to supporting those who serve their country in our military,” said state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who requested the legislation. “This bill ensures military consumers don’t get stuck with contracts they can’t use because they are deployed or ordered to relocate.”

The bill also expands the types of roles that qualify to include not only active-duty military personnel, but also members of the National Guard and reservists.

The legislation passed the Senate unanimously and now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Lawmakers are on day 32 of a 60-day session scheduled to end March 8.