Members of the New Jersey National Guard and the reserve component of the Armed Forces called to active duty would be able to secure their spot on certain civil service eligibility lists under a bill that's been released by the Assembly Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee.

"We depend on these soldiers in times of trouble at home and overseas.  They should not be penalized for their dedication to our state and country," said Assemblyman Gilbert "Whip" Wilson, co-sponsor of the measure.  "This legislation will allow Guard and Reserve members who are deployed while a new list is generated, to carry their original test score onto the new list upon their return from active duty."

"Jobs are hard enough to come by in this economy, but even harder for service members who can be called to active duty at any time," said bill co-sponsor Assemblyman Albert Coutinho.  "These soldiers should not have to forfeit a job opportunity because of their military service.  This bill helps ensure that these soldiers have a fair shot at securing employment to support their families when they return home."

The bill would allow member of the Guard or Reserves who are called to active duty, and who was on an active open competitive employment list prior to deployment, to be placed on an active open competitive employment list identical to the list the member was on prior to being called to service.

The service member will have one year from the expiration date of the original list to submit proof of service and an application to be placed on a new list.  The measure now heads to the full Assembly for consideration.