Under current law, the widow or widower of a serviceperson who is either permanently disabled or killed in combat can claim a preferred status when applying for a job in the civil service. This bill would do away with the term “mother” in the law and, instead, replace it with the gender-neutral “parent.” As is the case with mothers under current law, said parent would also have to be either unmarried or legally separated from their spouse, or married to a disabled person.
What is Senate Bill S. 136?
Cost of Senate Bill S. 136
In-Depth: Service people get preference for government jobs, providing that they were honorably or generally discharged, didn’t rise above the rank of major and weren’t National Guard or reserve. However, some veterans can get a further preference if they meet a certain set of conditions.
Veterans who served during a war (yes, “police actions” count) and during the first three years after the Treaty of San Francisco was signed get five points added to any passing exam score that they take to join the civil service. Veterans who are receiving disability or who have received a Purple Heart, as well as the unmarried spouses and mothers of deceased or disabled veterans receive an additional ten points. If this bill passes, so too would fathers.
Of Note: According to local news sources, this bill is in Congress largely thanks to the efforts of one man in Canton, Ohio: Scott Warner. Warner’s son, Heath was killed in Iraq in 2006 while serving with the Marine Corps. In the wake of Heath’s death, Warner became active in the fight for getting fathers preference. Warner’s senator, Sherrod Brown (D-OH), is a co-sponsor of this bill. This was not Warner’s first time making headlines. He was also involved in activism around Arlington Cemetery’s burial of veterans in the wrong plots.
The “gold star” in this bill’s name refers to a one hundred-year-old tradition of families of military personnel hanging service flags in their window to show that their child was deployed. Traditionally, these flags were a blue star on a white field with a red border. If the serviceperson died in combat, the families hung up a gold star.
The service flag tradition was started in the Warners’ home state, Ohio.
Gold Star Fathers Act of 2015
A bill to amend chapter 21 of title 5, United States Code, to provide that fathers of certain permanently disabled or deceased veterans shall be included with mothers of such veterans as preference eligibles for treatment in the civil service.
- EnactedOctober 7th, 2015The President signed this bill into law
- The house Passed September 28th, 2015Passed by Voice Vote
Committee on Oversight and Reform
- house Committees
- The senate Passed May 11th, 2015Passed by Voice Vote
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental AffairsIntroducedJanuary 8th, 2015
- senate Committees