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News Release from: Clackamas Co. Sheriff's Office
Wednesday, May 27, 2015, 4:21 p.m.

Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts champions legislation bridging pay equity gap for deployed deputies; video sound-bites available

Posted: Wednesday, May 27, 2015, 4:21 p.m.



HB 2763 Signing CeremonyToday (Wednesday, May 27, 2015), Governor Kate Brown signed House Bill 2763 into law at a ceremonial signing attended by Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts, state legislators, and dignitaries.

Championed by Roberts and introduced by Rep. Shemia Fagan (D - Clackamas/Multnomah), House Bill 2763 -- the Military Families' Pay Equity Bill -- allows public employers to make up the difference in pay between an employee's civilian and military salary while on a military deployment.

"It's a win-win for all of us," said Sheriff Roberts. "We have soldiers that will serve our country, and we can also help them here at home."

Marc Griffith is a Clackamas County Deputy Sheriff who deployed with the U.S. Air Force in 2009. The difference in pay between his civilian job as a deputy sheriff and what he received on military department was significant.

"When you deploy, you lose 50 percent of your pay if you have a decent-paying job, so your family is left to fend for themselves with 50 percent of the pay they were used to paying bills with," said Griffith.

Prior to this legislation, Oregon law prohibited public employers from making up the difference between an employee's regular pay and their military pay. The policy known as differential pay is already practiced by many private employers. This law now allows public employers to have the option to provide this critical benefit to their employees.

Rick Miller, Avamere founder and Rogue Venture Partners co-founder, said as a private business owner he appreciates the sacrifice of the members of our military and wants to do what he can to help.

"It certainly made me think about what we do and don't do for our vets that are called up for active duty whether it's public agencies or private sectors," said Rick Miller. "We have a duty to pay for these folks while they are temporarily away from their jobs," he said.

The signing event was attended by the bill's key supporters -- including Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts, bill sponsor Rep. Shemia Fagan (D - Clackamas/Multnomah), Avamere founder and Rogue Venture Partners co-founder Rick Miller, Clackamas County Deputy Marc Griffith, and members of the Oregon State Firefighters Council, among others.

A CALL TO ACTION

In the Winter 2015 issue of Oregon Sheriff magazine, Sheriff's Roberts wrote about a discussion he had with one of his deployed deputies that became a call to action:

"Last year, I had the opportunity to visit with one of my deputies after he returned from a year on active duty and was preparing for another deployment," Roberts wrote. "He explained that his military pay is a lot less than his salary here at the Sheriff's Office, and to make the point, he showed me his pay stub. Honestly, I couldn't believe it. I asked how his family survived while he was deployed. 'We just sell everything,' he told me."

Sheriff Roberts reached out to Rep. Shemia Fagan to help change the law. This led to Rep. Fagan's introduction of HB 2763, first read on Jan. 12, 2015.

In February, Sheriff Roberts joined Rep. Fagan and many others in Salem to testify in support of HB 2763 before the Oregon State Legislature's House Committee on Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness.

Passage of the bill is part of a larger effort within the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office to provide comprehensive support for employees serving in the National Guard or Reserves. This support includes the Military Employee Support Program (MESP), launched in July 2014 and detailed in this press release.

ABOUT HB 2763

VIDEO SOUND-BITES AVAILABLE

Video of today's signing -- along with quotes from attendees -- are available to news outlets. You can download this video here:

[END]

News-release archive

Contact Info:
Sergeant Nathan Thompson
Office of Public Information
Clackamas County Sheriff's Office

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Sheriff Craig Roberts

Sheriff Craig Roberts

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