Today Governor Gregoire signed into law a bill that allows Civil Air Patrol members to work with their employers when emergency situations arise, so they can get time off to serve the state on various Air Force missions. Substitute Senate bill 6647 would also prohibit an employer from discharging or disciplining Civil Air Patrol members for leave related to vital emergency service operations.
The volunteers of the Civil Air Patrol conduct critical search and rescue, disaster relief, aerial surveys, and counterdrug missions. Their service to our state is valued at nearly $3 million per year. This law will honor their service and help guarantee that they receive the support that they deserve.
The language in SSB 6647 is similar to the protections that volunteer firefighters currently have when responding to an emergency. The law goes into effect on June 10.