National Guard members are getting a pay increase when fighting state wildfires, thanks to a new law. House Bill 1137 updates the state active duty compensation statute to a rate consistent with Department of Natural Resource rates for Guard members called to state service for wildland fire response. The Governor signed the bill this week.
“I am proud to stand with members of the National Guard by increasing their pay when they are serving us in dangerous conditions,” said bill sponsor Rep. Mari Leavitt (D-University Place) after the bill signing. “Thank you to the Military Departments for bringing this issue to my attention and to all the men and women who protect our state during the wildfire crisis.”
Because the state active duty compensation statute tied National Guard member pay to the federal minimum wage, it resulted in pay less than the state minimum wage. Leavitt’s bill is the first update to the statute in 30 years.