Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Housing, Community Development & Veterans Committee

HB 1137

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Brief Description: Concerning national guard pay in state active service for wildland fire response duty.

Sponsors: Representatives Leavitt, Klippert, Kilduff, Boehnke, Gildon, Callan, Reeves, Dolan, Barkis, Appleton, Goodman, Young, Riccelli, Bergquist and Stanford; by request of Military Department.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Modifies National Guard pay for active service paid by the state.

Hearing Date: 1/23/19

Staff: Serena Dolly (786-7150).


The State Militia.

The Washington Constitution provides for the organization of the state militia with the Governor serving as Commander-in-Chief. The organized militia consists of the National Guard and the State Guard. The Governor may call the entire militia into active service, but the National Guard may also be called into federal service. The State Guard is available for service when the National Guard is called into federal service.

The Governor may order the state militia into active service, among other purposes, in the event of war or other threat of force or violence against the laws of the state or the United States, for a public disaster, or when otherwise required for the health, safety, or welfare of the public. Officers and enlisted members of the state militia, while in active state service or inactive duty, are entitled to receive the same amount of pay and allowances from the state as provided by federal laws and regulations for officers and enlisted members of the United States Army. State payment is only provided if federal pay and allowances are not authorized. For periods of active state service, officers and enlisted members receive the greater of the amount of the Army pay and benefits, or an amount equal to one and one-half of the federal minimum wage.

Minimum Wage.

As of January 1, 2019, Washington's minimum wage for persons 16 and over is $12.00 per hour. The federal minimum wage has been $7.25 per hour since July 24, 2009.

National Wildfire Coordinating Group.

The National Wildfire Coordinating Group (Group) was established in 1976 to coordinate the wildfire operations of various agencies. The Group also develops standards for training, equipment, aircraft, suppression priorities, and other operational areas. On an annual basis, the Group establishes a pay structure for emergency workers hired to address an immediate fire emergency, extreme fire potential, or other emergency. This pay structure is referred to as the Administratively Determined Pay Plans for Emergency Workers.

Summary of Bill:

For periods of active service paid by the state, National Guard pay is set at the greater of:

In addition, the Director of the State Military Department must establish a pay structure for wildland fire response that is commensurate with the pay structure of other state agencies providing wildland fire response. The pay structure is subject to the approval of the Office of Financial Management.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.