Governor Urges House to Make His Executive Order Permanent

CONCORD - Gov. John Lynch today urged the New Hampshire House Finance Committee to make his Executive Order permanent and guarantee pay, health and retirement benefits for state employees called to National Guard or Reserve service.

The legislation, HB 1724, would guarantee that the benefits guaranteed in the Governor's Executive Order would stay in effect unless repealed by a future legislature and Governor.

"Our National Guard members, and their families, make tremendous sacrifices to serve and protect us. As Governor, I am honored to be not only the Commander in Chief of the New Hampshire National Guard, but also the employer of many of its members. Like the sponsors of this bill, I want to make sure that state government is doing everything possible to assist our employees who are also members of the National Guard or Reserves," Gov. Lynch wrote in a letter to the House Finance Committee.

In September, Gov. Lynch extended an Executive Order issued by the previous governor to ensure that state employees activated for full-time Guard or Reserve duty by the federal government continue to receive their health and retirement benefits and the difference in pay between their state and military salaries. Gov. Lynch also expanded the Executive Order to cover employees activated for state duty, as National Guard members were during Hurricane Katrina and New Hampshire's floods.

"We should make sure that our National Guard and Reserve members continue to receive this important protection in the future by passing this legislation," Gov. Lynch wrote.