A legislative measure known as the Jason Barfield bill has passed the Alabama Legislature. The bill was passed unanimously by the Alabama House Wednesday, five weeks after a 35-0 vote in the Senate.
The bill exempts wages earned by an Armed Forced member killed in a Designated Combat Zone as well as the wages earned by their spouse. It applies only to people who lived in Alabama at the time the death occurred. The measure is named for Marine Lance Corporal Jason Barfield, a resident of Houston County killed last year when a bomb exploded in Afghanistan.
"I'm delighted to have sponsored this bill," said State Senator Harri Anne Smith, (I)-Slocomb. Smith said she decided to introduce the measure after talking to Barfield's family.
Rep. Paul Lee, (R)-Dothan, sponsored the House version. "This bill is a way for us, at least in some small way, to pay tribute to those who protect our country and all of us."
The news was welcomed by Jason Barfield's family. "We're so thrilled Harri Anne and Paul saw fit to do this (introduce the bill)," said Ray Barfield, Jason's father. "It's the last thing our state can do for those who have fallen.
Smith said Barfield's family is expected to be present when Governor Bentley signs the measure. The date of that signing has not been determined.
The bill is retroactive to January 1, 2011