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110th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     110-778

======================================================================



 
           IMPROVING SCRA AND USERRA PROTECTIONS ACT OF 2008

                                _______
                                

 July 28, 2008.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Filner, from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 6225]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Veterans' Affairs, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 6225) to amend title 38, United States Code, 
relating to equitable relief with respect to a State or private 
employer, having considered the same, report favorably thereon 
with amendments and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Amendment........................................................     2
Purpose and Summary..............................................     5
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     5
Hearings.........................................................     7
Subcommittee Consideration.......................................     9
Committee Consideration..........................................     9
Committee Votes..................................................     9
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     9
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............    10
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures    10
Earmarks and Tax and Tariff Benefits.............................    10
Committee Cost Estimate..........................................    10
Congressional Budget Office Estimate.............................    10
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................    13
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................    13
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................    13
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................    13
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................    14
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............    14

                               Amendment

    The amendments are as follows:
    Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Improving SCRA and USERRA 
Protections Act of 2008''.

SEC. 2. EQUITY POWERS.

    Section 4323(e) of title 38, United States Code, is amended by 
striking ``may use'' and inserting ``shall use, in any case in which 
the court determines it is appropriate,''.

SEC. 3. RELIEF FOR STUDENTS WHO ARE MEMBERS OF ARMED FORCES DURING 
                    PERIOD OF MILITARY SERVICE.

    (a) In General.--Title VII of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act 
(50 U.S.C. App. 591 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the 
following new section:

``SEC. 707. TUITION, REENROLLMENT, AND STUDENT LOAN RELIEF FOR 
                    POSTSECONDARY STUDENTS CALLED TO MILITARY SERVICE.

    ``(a) Tuition and Reenrollment.--Whenever a servicemember is 
called, activated, or ordered to military service and withdraws or 
takes a leave of absence from an institution of higher education in 
which the servicemember is enrolled, the institution shall--
          ``(1) provide a credit or refund to the servicemember the 
        tuition and fees paid by the servicemember (other than from the 
        proceeds of a grant or scholarship) for the portion of the 
        program of education for which the servicemember did not 
        receive academic credit after such withdrawal or leave; and
          ``(2) provide the servicemember an opportunity to reenroll 
        with the same educational and academic status in such program 
        of education that the servicemember had when activated for 
        military service.
    ``(b) Institution of Higher Education Defined.--In this section, 
the term `institution of higher education' means a 2-year or 4-year 
institution of higher education as defined in section 102 of the Higher 
Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1002).''.
    (b) Exemption of Student Debts From Creditor Protection Based on 
Income Level.--Section 207(c) of such Act (50 U.S.C. App. 527(c)) is 
amended by adding at the end the following new sentence: ``This 
subsection shall not apply with respect to an obligation or liability 
that is incurred by a servicemember who, at the time the servicemember 
is called to military service, is a student enrolled within six months 
of activation at an institution of higher education on a full-time 
basis, as determined by that institution.''.
    (c) Clerical Amendment.--The table of contents in section 1(b) of 
such Act is amended by adding at the end the following new item:

``Sec. 707. Tuition, reenrollment, and student loan relief for 
postsecondary students called to military service.''.

    (d) Effective Date.--The amendments made by this section shall take 
effect for periods of military service beginning after the date of the 
enactment of this section.

SEC. 4. TERMINATION OR SUSPENSION BY SERVICEMEMBERS OF CERTAIN SERVICE 
                    CONTRACTS ENTERED INTO BEFORE PERMANENT CHANGE OF 
                    STATION OR DEPLOYMENT ORDERS.

    (a) Termination.--Title III of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act 
(50 U.S.C. App. 531 et seq.) is amended--
          (1) by redesignating section 308 as section 309; and
          (2) by inserting after section 307 the following:

``SEC. 308. TERMINATION OR SUSPENSION OF SERVICE CONTRACTS.

    ``(a) Termination or Suspension by Servicemember.--A person in 
military service who is party to or enters into a contract described in 
subsection (c) may terminate or suspend, at the person's option, the 
contract at any time after the date of the person's military orders, as 
described in subsection (c).
    ``(b) Special Rules.--(1) A suspension under subsection (a) of a 
contract by a person in military service shall continue for the length 
of the person's deployment pursuant to the person's military orders.
          ``(2) A service provider under a contract suspended or 
        terminated under subsection (a) by a person in military service 
        may not impose a suspension fee or early termination fee in 
        connection with the suspension or termination of the contract, 
        other than a nominal fee for the suspension; except that the 
        service provider may impose a reasonable fee for any equipment 
        remaining on the premises of the person in military service 
        during the period of the suspension. The person in military 
        service may defer, without penalty, payment of such a nominal 
        fee or reasonable fee for the length of the person's deployment 
        pursuant to the person's military orders.
          ``(3) In any case in which the contract being suspended under 
        subsection (a) is for cellular telephone service or telephone 
        exchange service, the person in military service, after the 
        date on which the suspension of the contract ends, may keep, to 
        the extent practicable and in accordance with all applicable 
        laws and regulations, the same telephone number the person had 
        before the person suspended the contract.
    ``(c) Covered Contracts.--This section applies to a contract for 
cellular telephone service, telephone exchange service, multichannel 
video programming service, Internet access service, water, electricity, 
oil, gas, or other utility if the person enters into the contract and 
thereafter receives military orders--
          ``(1) to deploy with a military unit, or as an individual, in 
        support of a contingency operation for a period of not less 
        than 90 days; or
          ``(2) for a change of permanent station to a location that 
        does not support the contract.
    ``(d) Manner of Termination or Suspension.--
          ``(1) In general.--Termination or suspension of a contract 
        under subsection (a) is made by delivery by the person in 
        military service of written notice of such termination or 
        suspension and a copy of the servicemember's military orders to 
        the other party to the contract (or to that party's grantee or 
        agent).
          ``(2) Nature of notice.--Delivery of notice under paragraph 
        (1) may be accomplished--
                  ``(A) by hand delivery;
                  ``(B) by private business carrier;
                  ``(C) by facsimile; or
                  ``(D) by placing the written notice and a copy of the 
                servicemember's military orders in an envelope with 
                sufficient postage and with return receipt requested, 
                and addressed as designated by the party to be notified 
                (or that party's grantee or agent), and depositing the 
                envelope in the United States mails.
    ``(e) Date of Contract Termination or Suspension.--Termination or 
suspension of a service contract under subsection (a) is effective as 
of the date on which the notice under subsection (d) is delivered.
    ``(f) Other Obligations and Liabilities.--The service provider 
under the contract may not impose an early termination or suspension 
charge, but any tax or any other obligation or liability of the person 
in military service that, in accordance with the terms of the contract, 
is due and unpaid or unperformed at the time of termination or 
suspension of the contract shall be paid or performed by the person in 
military service.
    ``(g) Fees Paid in Advance.--A fee or amount paid in advance for a 
period after the effective date of the termination of the contract 
shall be refunded to the person in military service by the other party 
(or that party's grantee or agent) within 60 days of the effective date 
of the termination of the contract.
    ``(h) Relief to Other Party.--Upon application by the other party 
to the contract to a court before the termination date provided in the 
written notice, relief granted by this section to a person in military 
service may be modified as justice and equity require.
    ``(i) Penalties.--
          ``(1) Misdemeanor.--Whoever knowingly violates or attempts to 
        violate this section shall be fined not more than $5,000 in the 
        case of an individual or $10,000 in the case of an 
        organization.
          ``(2) Preservation.--The remedy and rights provided under 
        this section are in addition to and do not preclude any remedy 
        for wrongful conversion otherwise available under law to the 
        person claiming relief under this section, including any award 
        for consequential or punitive damages.
    ``(j) Equitable Relief.--
          ``(1) In general.--In addition to any other remedy available 
        under law, if a person in military service has reason to 
        believe that another party to a contract has violated or is 
        violating this section, the person in military service may--
                  ``(A) bring an action to enjoin the violation in any 
                appropriate United States district court or in any 
                other court of competent jurisdiction; or
                  ``(B) bring an action in any appropriate United 
                States district court or in any other court of 
                competent jurisdiction to recover damages equal to 
                three times the amount for which the other party is 
                liable to the person in military service under this 
                section.
          ``(2) Attorney fees.--If a person in military service is 
        awarded damages under an action described under paragraph (1), 
        the person shall be awarded, in addition, the costs of the 
        action and reasonable attorney fees, as determined by the 
        court.
    ``(k) Definitions.--For the purposes of this section, the following 
definitions apply:
          ``(1) Multichannel video programming service.--The term 
        `multichannel video programming service' means video 
        programming service provided by a multichannel video 
        programming distributor, as such term is defined in section 
        602(13) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 522(13)).
          ``(2) Internet access service.--The term `Internet access 
        service' has the meaning given that term under section 
        231(e)(4) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 
        231(e)(4)).
          ``(3) Cellular telephone service.--The term `cellular 
        telephone service' means commercial mobile service, as that 
        term is defined in section 332(d) of the Communications Act of 
        1934 (47 U.S.C. 332(d)).
          ``(4) Telephone exchange service.--The term `telephone 
        exchange service' has the meaning given that term under section 
        3 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 153).''.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of contents in section 1(b) of 
such Act is amended by striking the item relating to section 308 and 
inserting the following new items:

``Sec. 308. Termination or suspension of service contracts.
``Sec. 309. Extension of protections to dependents.''.

SEC. 5. PENALTIES FOR VIOLATION OF INTEREST RATE LIMITATION UNDER 
                    SERVICEMEMBERS CIVIL RELIEF ACT.

    Section 207 of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (50 U.S.C. App. 
527) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsections:
    ``(e) Penalty.--Whoever knowingly violates subsection (a) shall be 
fined not more than $5,000 in the case of an individual or $10,000 in 
the case of an organization.
    ``(f) Rights of Servicemembers.--
          ``(1) Equitable relief.--
                  ``(A) In general.--In addition to any other remedies 
                as are provided under Federal or State law, if a 
                servicemember has reason to believe that a creditor has 
                violated or is violating this section, the 
                servicemember may--
                          ``(i) bring an action to enjoin such 
                        violation in any appropriate United States 
                        district court or in any other court of 
                        competent jurisdiction; and
                          ``(ii) bring an action to recover damages 
                        equal to three times the amount of the interest 
                        charged in violation of this section (plus 
                        interest) for which the creditor is liable to 
                        the servicemember under this section as a 
                        result of the violation.
                  ``(B) Determination of number of violations.--In 
                determining the number of violations by a creditor for 
                which a penalty is imposed under subsection (e) or 
                subparagraph (A), the court shall count as a single 
                violation each obligation or liability of a 
                servicemember with respect to which--
                          ``(i) the servicemember properly provided to 
                        the creditor written notice and a copy of the 
                        military orders calling the servicemember to 
                        military service and any orders further 
                        extending military service under subsection 
                        (b); and
                          ``(ii) the creditor failed to treat in 
                        accordance with subsection (a).
          ``(2) Attorney fees.--If a servicemember is awarded damages 
        under an action described under paragraph (1), the 
        servicemember shall be awarded, in addition, the costs of the 
        action and reasonable attorney fees, as determined by the 
        court.
    ``(g) Preservation of Other Remedies.--The rights and remedies 
provided under subsections (e) and (f) are in addition to and do not 
preclude any other remedy available under law to a person claiming 
relief under this section, including any award for consequential or 
punitive damages.''.

SEC. 6. GUARANTEE OF RESIDENCY FOR SPOUSES OF MILITARY PERSONNEL.

    (a) Guarantee of Residency.--Section 705 of the Servicemembers 
Civil Relief Act (50 U.S.C. App. 595) is amended--
          (1) by striking ``For'' and inserting ``(a) For''; and
          (2) by adding at the end the following new subsection:
    ``(b) For the purposes of voting for any Federal office (as defined 
in section 301 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 
431)) or a State or local office, a person who is absent from a State 
because the person is accompanying the person's spouse who is absent 
from that same State in compliance with military or naval orders shall 
not, solely by reason of that absence--
          ``(1) be deemed to have lost a residence or domicile in that 
        State, without regard to whether or not the person intends to 
        return to that State;
          ``(2) be deemed to have acquired a residence or domicile in 
        any other State; or
          ``(3) be deemed to have become a resident in or a resident of 
        any other State.''.
    (b) Clerical Amendments.--
          (1) The heading for such section is amended to read as 
        follows:

``SEC. 705. GUARANTEE OF RESIDENCY FOR MILITARY PERSONNEL AND SPOUSES 
                    OF MILITARY PERSONNEL.''.

          (2) The item relating to such section in the table of 
        contents in section 1(b) of such Act is amended to read as 
        follows:

``Sec. 705. Guarantee of residency for military personnel and spouses 
of military personnel.''.

SEC. 7. RESIDENCE FOR TAX PURPOSES.

    Section 511(a) of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (50 U.S.C. 
App. 571(a)) is amended--
    (1) by striking ``A servicemember'' and inserting the following:
          ``(1) Servicemember.--A servicemember''; and
          (2) by adding at the end the following:
          ``(2) Spouse of servicemember.--A spouse of a servicemember 
        shall neither lose nor acquire a residence or domicile for 
        purposes of taxation with respect to the person, personal 
        property, or income of the spouse by reason of being absent or 
        present in any tax jurisdiction of the United States solely to 
        be with the servicemember in compliance with the 
        servicemember's military orders if the residence or domicile, 
        as the case may be, is the same for the servicemember and the 
        spouse.''.

    Amend the title so as to read:

    A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, relating to 
equitable relief with respect to a State or private employer, 
and for other purposes.

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 6225 was introduced by Representative Stephanie 
Herseth Sandlin of South Dakota, the Chairwoman of the 
Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity of the Committee on 
Veterans' Affairs, on June 10, 2008. This legislation, as 
amended, includes provisions from H.R. 2910, introduced by 
Representative Susan Davis of California; H.R. 3298, introduced 
by Representative Patrick Murphy of Pennsylvania; and, H.R. 
6070 introduced by Representative John R. Carter of Texas.
    H.R. 6225, as amended, would encourage courts, when 
appropriate and at the discretion of the court, to use equity 
powers in suits involving the Uniformed Services Employment and 
Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) and amends the Servicemembers 
Civil Relief Act (SCRA) to provide additional protections to 
servicemembers enrolled in institutes of higher education; to 
servicemembers relating to certain service contracts; and to 
spouses of servicemembers regarding the state of domicile for 
tax and voting purposes.

                  Background and Need for Legislation


                             EQUITY POWERS

    On February 13, 2008, the Subcommittee on Economic 
Opportunity conducted a hearing titled ``Review of Expiring 
Programs.'' This hearing provided the Subcommittee the 
opportunity to entertain recommendations on ways to improve 
programs and expand veterans' rights. One such recommendation 
came from Mr. Matthew B. Tully, founding partner of Tully 
Rinckey PLLC, who is a USERRA specialist.
    Mr. Tully described to the Subcommittee a situation where a 
servicemember sought injunctive relief from his employer but 
the court denied his request. Mr. Tully recommended that the 
Subcommittee consider amending USERRA to reiterate that a court 
may utilize, when appropriate, its powers of equitable relief 
under USERRA. The Committee agrees that it is important to 
statutorily underline the equitable relief powers that courts 
already possess, and has included language specifically 
highlighting a court's ability to grant equitable relief where 
appropriate.

 RELIEF FOR STUDENTS WHO ARE MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES DURING PERIOD 
                          OF MILITARY SERVICE

    Since the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, many 
of our servicemembers have experienced multiple deployments in 
support of missions throughout the globe to include operations 
in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of these men and women have been 
members of the Reserve Forces whose military commitment 
required them to interrupt their college education. Students 
who serve in the military face unique hardships when colleges 
and universities do not refund tuition and fees to students 
when they are activated during the academic year.
    In addition to situations where colleges and universities 
do not refund tuition and fees, there have been instances where 
servicemembers have received failing grades after leaving 
school for required military service in the middle of the 
quarter or semester--even after notifying the school 
administration of their military commitment. Servicemembers 
also face hardships when it comes to remaining current with 
their student loans. Activated military personnel have been 
known to receive collection notices for student loans while 
serving in combat zones.
    H.R. 6225 adds provisions to the SCRA requiring colleges 
and universities to refund servicemembers' tuition and fees for 
any unearned credit for the semester or quarter when they are 
activated for duty. The legislation would also require schools 
to re-admit student veterans after completion of their active 
duty at their previous academic status.
    Under current law, servicemembers, while deployed, are 
generally not required to pay more than a six percent interest 
rate on all forms of debt under the SCRA. However, this 
interest rate cap has not been applied to student loans. H.R. 
6225 specifically adds student loan obligations to this 
interest rate cap.

    TERMINATION OR SUSPENSION BY SERVICEMEMBERS OF CERTAIN SERVICE 
                               CONTRACTS

    There is a growing problem that many deployed 
servicemembers are currently facing in having their credit 
damaged during their deployments over issues concerning 
contracts with cellular telephone or internet service 
providers. The Committee has also learned that some financial 
institutions have been recalcitrant or unwilling to reduce 
servicemembers' interest rates during their deployments on 
certain types of loans such as mortgages, even though these 
creditors are already required to do so under current law.
    H.R. 6225 would extend SCRA protections to enable 
servicemembers with deployment orders to more easily terminate 
or suspend service contracts without fee or penalty for such 
services as cellular phones, utilities, cable television, or 
internet access. These protections currently exist for 
residential and automobile leases.
    Unfortunately, some families of servicemembers have been 
faced with repeated harassment by collection agencies because 
of these situations. Currently, creditors who knowingly or 
negligently fail to reduce interest rates upon notification 
from a servicemember with deployment orders face no specific 
penalty. Therefore, this measure would add a penalty provision 
to the SCRA that would apply to those creditors who refuse to 
reduce interest rates as currently required under the SCRA.

        GUARANTEE OF RESIDENCY FOR SPOUSES OF MILITARY PERSONNEL

    The SCRA provides basic civil relief to our men and women 
in the Armed Services in exchange for their voluntary service. 
These protections include an option to maintain a single state 
of domicile regardless of where their military orders may send 
them. This enables servicemembers to simplify their state 
income tax requirements, maintain a driver's license in a 
single state, and continue to vote for the elected officials 
from their hometown.
    However, while servicemembers receive this important 
protection, the SCRA does not currently offer these same 
protections to the spouse of the servicemember. Although the 
servicemember is provided the stability of a single state of 
domicile over the course of his or her career, with every move 
or deployment the spouse must change voter registration, obtain 
a new driver's license, and pay income tax to a state where 
they never intended to live.
    H.R. 6225 would enable military spouses to claim the same 
state of domicile as the servicemember for the purposes of 
state income and property taxes as well as voter registration.

                                Hearings

    On January 17, 2008, the Subcommittee on Economic 
Opportunity held a hearing titled the ``Review of Pending 
Montgomery G.I. Bill Legislation.'' The following witnesses 
testified: Colonel Robert F. Norton, USA (Ret.), Deputy 
Director, Government Relations, Military Officers Association 
of America; Mr. Patrick Campbell, Legislative Director, Iraq 
and Afghanistan Veterans of America; Mr. Eric A. Hilleman, 
Deputy Director, National Legislative Service, Veterans of 
Foreign Wars of the United States; Mr. Ronald F. Chamrin, 
Assistant Director, Economic Commission, The American Legion; 
Mr. Thomas L. Bush, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of 
Defense for Reserve Affairs, U.S. Department of Defense; Dr. 
Curtis L. Gilroy, Director for Accession Policy, Office of the 
Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, U.S. 
Department of Defense; and, Mr. Keith M. Wilson, Director of 
Education Service for the Veterans Benefits Administration, 
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Those submitting 
statements for the record included: The Honorable Rick Larsen 
of Washington; The Honorable Jim Matheson of Utah; The 
Honorable Robert C. ``Bobby'' Scott of Virginia; the Paralyzed 
Veterans of America; and, Mr. Jim Pace, President, Washington 
State Council, Vietnam Veterans of America.
    On April 16, 2008, the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity 
held a hearing on a number of bills introduced in the 110th 
Congress, including H.R. 3298. The following witnesses 
testified: The Honorable Bob Filner of California; The 
Honorable Steve Buyer of Indiana; The Honorable Cliff Stearns 
of Florida; The Honorable Ciro D. Rodriguez of Texas; The 
Honorable John A. Yarmuth of Kentucky; The Honorable Robin 
Hayes of North Carolina; The Honorable Artur Davis of Alabama; 
The Honorable Patrick J. Murphy of Pennsylvania; Mr. Ronald F. 
Chamrin, Assistant Director of the Economic Commission, The 
American Legion; Mr. Justin Brown, Legislative Associate of 
National Legislative Service, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the 
United States; Mr. Richard Daley, Associate Legislative 
Director, Paralyzed Veterans of America; Mr. Patrick M. 
Campbell, Legislative Director, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans 
of America; Colonel Robert F. Norton, USA (Ret.), Deputy 
Director of Government Relations, Military Officers Association 
of America; The Honorable Charles S. Ciccolella, Assistant 
Secretary for Veterans' Employment and Training Service, U.S. 
Department of Labor; Mr. Thomas L. Bush, Acting Deputy 
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, U.S. 
Department of Defense; Dr. Curtis L. Gilroy, Director for 
Accession Policy, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for 
Personnel and Readiness, U.S. Department of Defense; and, Mr. 
Keith Pedigo, Associate Deputy Under Secretary for Policy and 
Program Management for the Veterans Benefits Administration, 
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, accompanied by Mr. John 
Brizzi, Staff Attorney of the Office of General Counsel, U.S. 
Department of Veterans Affairs. Those submitting statements for 
the record included: Mr. Jot D. Carpenter, Jr., Vice President 
of Government Affairs, CTIA--The Wireless Association; Mr. 
Kerry Baker, Associate National Legislative Director, Disabled 
American Veterans; and, Mr. Kyle McSlarrow, President and Chief 
Executive Officer, National Cable and Telecommunications 
Association.
    On June 19, 2008, the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity 
held a legislative hearing on a number of bills introduced in 
the 110th Congress, including H.R. 6070 and H.R. 6225. The 
following witnesses testified: The Honorable Bob Filner of 
California; The Honorable Dennis A. Cardoza of California; The 
Honorable Zoe Lofgren of California; The Honorable John R. 
Carter of Texas; The Honorable John Boozman of Arkansas; The 
Honorable Stephanie Herseth Sandlin of South Dakota; The 
Honorable Peter Welch of Vermont; Mr. Charles Huebner, Chief of 
Paralympics, United States Olympic Committee; Mr. Bobby 
Franklin, Executive Vice President, CTIA The Wireless 
Association; Mr. Kerry Baker, Associate National Legislative 
Director, Disabled American Veterans; Mr. Joseph C. Sharpe, 
Jr., Deputy Director, National Economic Commission, The 
American Legion; Mr. Richard Daley, Associate Legislation 
Director, Paralyzed Veterans of America; Mr. Rick Weidman, 
Executive Director for Policy and Government Affairs, Vietnam 
Veterans of America; and Mr. Keith Pedigo, Associate Deputy 
Under Secretary for Policy and Program Management for the 
Veterans Benefits Administration, U.S. Department of Veterans 
Affairs, accompanied by Ms. Diane Hartmann, Director, National 
Programs and Special Events, U.S. Department of Veterans 
Affairs. Those submitting statements for the record included: 
The Honorable Michael L. Dominguez, Principal Deputy Under 
Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness), U.S. Department 
of Defense; The Honorable Charles S. Ciccolella, Assistant 
Secretary for Veterans' Employment and Training, U.S. 
Department of Labor; and Ms. Rebecca Noah Poynter, Owner, 
OnPoynt Communications, Dallas, Texas.

                       Subcommittee Consideration

    On June 26, 2008, the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity 
met in open markup session and ordered favorably forwarded to 
the full Committee H.R. 6225; H.R. 6070; H.R. 2910, as amended; 
and, H.R. 3298, as amended, by voice vote. During consideration 
of H.R. 2910 the following amendment was considered: An 
amendment in the nature of a substitute by Mr. Hall of New York 
to remove section 3 as duplicative of current law, was agreed 
to by voice vote.
    During consideration of H.R. 3298 the following amendment 
was considered: An amendment in the nature of a substitute by 
Mr. Hall of New York to include technical terminology for the 
various affected industries as established in the 
Communications Act of 1944, was agreed to by voice vote.
    This amendment also permits a servicemember to pay a 
nominal fee to keep the account active and a reasonable fee for 
any equipment that the servicemember retains during suspension. 
It also stipulates that, to the extent practicable, the 
servicemember should be able to retain his or her phone number. 
Furthermore, the amendment includes a penalty for whoever 
knowingly violates the law and shall be fined $5,000 in the 
case of an individual or $10,000 in the case of an 
organization.

                        Committee Consideration

    On July 16, 2008, the full Committee met in an open markup 
session, a quorum being present, and ordered H.R. 6225, as 
amended, reported favorably to the House of Representatives, by 
voice vote. During consideration of the bill the following 
amendment was considered: An amendment in the nature of a 
substitute by Ms. Herseth Sandlin of South Dakota to 
incorporate language of H.R. 6070, and amended language of H.R. 
2910 and H.R. 3298, was agreed to by voice vote.

                            Committee Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the record votes 
on the motion to report the legislation and amendments thereto. 
There were no record votes taken on amendments or in connection 
with ordering H.R. 6225 reported to the House. A motion by Mr. 
Buyer of Indiana to order H.R. 6225, as amended, reported 
favorably to the House of Representatives was agreed to by 
voice vote.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII and clause 
(2)(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, the Committee's oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the descriptive portions of 
this report.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    In accordance with clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee's performance 
goals and objectives are reflected in the descriptive portions 
of this report.

   New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee adopts as its 
own the estimate of new budget authority, entitlement 
authority, or tax expenditures or revenues contained in the 
cost estimate prepared by the Director of the Congressional 
Budget Office pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional 
Budget Act of 1974.

                  Earmarks and Tax and Tariff Benefits

    H.R. 6225 does not contain any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9(d), 9(e), or 9(f) of rule XXI of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives.

                        Committee Cost Estimate

    The Committee adopts as its own the cost estimate on H.R. 
6255 prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the following is the cost estimate 
for H.R. 6255 provided by the Congressional Budget Office 
pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, July 24, 2008.
Hon. Bob Filner,
Chairman, Committee on Veterans' Affairs,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 6225, the 
Improving SCRA and USERRA Protections Act of 2008.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Neil Hood, 
who can be reached at 225-3220.
            Sincerely,
                                         Robert A. Sunshine
                                   (For Peter R. Orszag, Director).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 6225--Improving SCRA and USERRA Protections Act of 2008

    Summary: H.R. 6225 would require courts to grant injunctive 
relief, when appropriate, to veterans filing claims against 
state or private employers under the Uniformed Services 
Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). The bill also 
would apply to student loans the current 6 percent cap on 
interest on outstanding debt obligations of people serving in 
the military. CBO estimates that implementing the bill would 
not have a significant effect on the federal budget.
    H.R. 6225 would impose several intergovernmental mandates 
as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA). The bill 
would require public institutions of higher education to refund 
tuition and fees to servicemembers if they must leave school 
because of military service commitments. The bill also would 
prohibit governmental entities from charging fees to some 
servicemembers for terminating utility contracts, and it would 
prohibit state and local governments from imposing certain 
taxes on some spouses of servicemembers. In aggregate, CBO 
estimates that the costs of the intergovernmental mandates in 
the bill would total between $40 million and $50 million in 
2008 and similar amounts annually thereafter; such costs would 
not exceed the threshold established in UMRA ($68 million in 
2008, adjusted annually for inflation).
    Section 4 of UMRA excludes from the application of that act 
any legislative provisions that enforce the constitutional 
rights of individuals. CBO has determined that section 6 of 
H.R. 6225 would fall within that exclusion because it would 
protect individuals' voting rights. Therefore, CBO has not 
reviewed that section of the bill for mandates.
    The bill contains provisions related to education expenses 
(in section 3) and service contract fees (in section 4) for 
certain members of the military that would impose private-
sector mandates as defined in UMRA. CBO estimates that the cost 
of complying with those mandates would likely be below the 
annual threshold established in that act ($136 million in 2008, 
adjusted annually for inflation).
    Basis of estimate: H.R. 6225 would require courts to grant 
injunctive relief, when appropriate, to veterans filing claims 
against state or private employers under USERRA. Servicemembers 
can file USERRA claims if they believe they have been 
terminated from their job or lost certain promotions or 
benefits as a result of their military obligations. Information 
from the Department of Justice (DOJ) indicates that in 2006 
four complaints were filed in federal district courts on behalf 
of USERRA claimants. Because CBO expects that the bill would 
not appreciably change the workload of federal court personnel 
and DOJ, we estimate implementing this provision would have no 
significant effect on the federal budget.
    The bill also would extend to student loans the current 6 
percent cap on interest on outstanding debt obligations of 
people serving in the military. This cap would only be in 
effect while the person is on active duty and only for debt 
accrued prior to active duty. CBO estimates that this change 
would have a minimal cost for several reasons. First, many 
current borrowers have loans with interest rates below the cap. 
Second, many of those loans already carry a deferment from 
repayment for those serving in areas of conflict. Finally, the 
statutory payments to private lenders would not be altered by 
this proposed change.
    Estimated impact on State, local, and tribal governments: 
H.R. 6225 contains intergovernmental mandates as defined in 
UMRA. CBO estimates that the costs of complying with those 
mandates would total between $40 million and $50 million in 
2008 and similar amounts annually thereafter. Such costs would 
not exceed the threshold established in UMRA ($68 million in 
2008, adjusted annually for inflation).
    The bill would require public institutions of higher 
education to refund or credit tuition and fees paid by 
servicemembers who have to leave school because of military 
service commitments. In addition, those institutions would be 
required to provide servicemembers who discontinued an 
educational program because of military service an opportunity 
to reenroll with the same educational and academic status held 
prior to their military service. Information from state and 
higher education officials indicates that public institutions 
of higher education in approximately half the states already 
extend similar benefits to servicemembers, either because of 
state law or institutional policies. CBO estimates that those 
institutions not extending such benefits would incur costs of 
between $40 million and $50 million in 2008, and that the total 
costs would remain under the threshold established in UMRA 
through 2012.
    The bill would impose additional intergovernmental mandates 
by limiting the ability of state and local governments to 
collect taxes and levy fees on some servicemembers and their 
spouses. The bill would prohibit public utilities from charging 
early termination fees to servicemembers and would require them 
to refund fees or payments made in advance for services not 
rendered. The bill also would limit the ability of a state or 
local government to levy certain taxes on the personal property 
or income of a spouse of a servicemember if the spouse moves 
into the government's jurisdiction to be with the 
servicemember. These requirements would be intergovernmental 
mandates as defined in UMRA, but CBO estimates that the costs, 
if any, would be small.
    Section 4 of UMRA excludes from the application of that act 
any legislative provisions that enforce the constitutional 
rights of individuals. CBO has determined that section 6 of 
H.R. 6225 would fall within that exclusion because it would 
protect individuals' voting rights. Therefore, CBO has not 
reviewed this section of the bill for mandates.
    Estimated impact on the private sector: The bill contains 
private-sector mandates as defined in UMRA, but CBO estimates 
that the total cost of the mandates would likely be below the 
annual threshold established in UMRA ($136 million in 2008, 
adjusted annually for inflation). Section 3 would require 
institutions of higher education to refund tuition and fees 
paid by students called to military service, reflecting the 
portion of the education program for which servicemembers did 
not receive academic credit. That section also would limit the 
interest rate on student loans to 6 percent per year for 
certain servicemembers during their period of military service, 
regardless of their ability to pay.
    Section 4 of the bill would prevent cellular telephone, 
Internet access, utility, and other service providers from 
imposing suspension and early termination fees on certain 
servicemembers, except for a nominal fee for the suspension and 
a reasonable fee for any equipment remaining on such 
servicemembers' premises. The waiver would be applicable for 
those servicemembers who are deployed to contingency operations 
or are assigned to permanent stations in locations that do not 
support the service contracts.
    CBO expects that the number of servicemembers called to 
military service while enrolled at an institution of higher 
education would be small. Based on estimates of total student 
loan debt for servicemembers entering the military, CBO also 
expects that the annual costs to lenders resulting from a 
reduction in the maximum allowable interest rate for those 
loans would be small. Finally, CBO estimates that the costs of 
the mandate on service providers would be well below the annual 
threshold, particularly since all major cellular phone carriers 
currently waive cancellation fees for military personnel going 
abroad and for customers moving to areas with no coverage.
    Previous CBO estimate: On August 28, 2007, CBO transmitted 
a cost estimate for S. 1315, the Veterans' Benefits Enhancement 
Act of 2007, as ordered reported by the Senate Committee on 
Veterans' Affairs on June 27, 2007. Section 804 of that bill is 
similar to section 4 of H.R. 6225. The earlier bill, however, 
included provisions only for the suspension or termination of 
cellular phone contracts. CBO determined that S. 1315 contained 
a private-sector mandate only on cellular telephone service 
contractors, and the costs of that mandate would likely be 
below the threshold established in UMRA.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Spending: Veterans' Affairs--
Neil Hood. Injunctive Relief--Leigh Angres. Student Loans--
Deborah Kalcevic. Impact on State, Local, and Tribal 
Governments: Elizabeth Cove, Neil Hood, and Lisa Ramirez-
Branum. Impact on the Private Sector: Daniel Frisk.
    Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates regarding H.R. 6225 prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office pursuant to section 423 of the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act would be created by H.R. 
6225.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Pursuant to clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee finds that the 
Constitutional authority for H.R. 6225 is provided by Article 
I, section 8 of the Constitution of the United States.

                  Applicability to Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.

             Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation


Section 1. Short title

    This section would provide the short title of H.R. 6225 as 
the ``Improving SCRA and USERRA Protections Act of 2008.''

Section 2. Equity powers

    This section would encourage courts to utilize equity 
powers when deemed appropriate in USERRA cases.

Section 3. Relief for students who are members of the Armed Forces 
        during period of military service

    This section would require colleges and universities to 
refund a student's tuition and fees for unearned credit for the 
semester or quarter when they are activated for duty and 
requires colleges and universities to allow students to reenter 
the institution with the identical educational and academic 
status they had when they activated for duty. In addition, this 
section would extend the current interest rate cap in the SCRA 
to student loan obligations.

Section 4. Termination or suspension by servicemembers of certain 
        service contracts entered into before permanent change of 
        station or deployment orders

    This section would extend SCRA protections to enable 
servicemembers with deployment orders to more easily terminate 
or suspend service contracts without fee or penalty for such 
services as cellular phones, utilities, cable television, or 
internet access, protections that currently exist for 
residential and automobile leases.

Section 5. Penalties for violation of interest rate limitation under 
        SCRA

    This section would add a penalty provision to the SCRA that 
would apply to those creditors who refuse to reduce interest 
rates as currently required under the SCRA.

Section 6. Guarantee of residency for spouses of military personnel

    This section would allow a military spouse to vote in the 
same location of Federal, state and local elections as the 
servicemember.

Section 7. Residency for tax purposes

    This section would allow the spouse of a servicemember to 
pay taxes in the same state as the servicemember.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

                      TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE




           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
PART III--READJUSTMENT AND RELATED BENEFITS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


   CHAPTER 43--EMPLOYMENT AND REEMPLOYMENT RIGHTS OF MEMBERS OF THE 
UNIFORMED SERVICES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



      SUBCHAPTER III--PROCEDURES FOR ASSISTANCE, ENFORCEMENT, AND 
INVESTIGATION

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



Sec. 4323. Enforcement of rights with respect to a State or private 
                    employer

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (e) Equity Powers.--The court [may use] shall use, in any 
case in which the court determines it is appropriate, its full 
equity powers, including temporary or permanent injunctions, 
temporary restraining orders, and contempt orders, to vindicate 
fully the rights or benefits of persons under this chapter.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                              ----------                              


                    SERVICEMEMBERS CIVIL RELIEF ACT


SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

  (a) * * *
  (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents of this Act is 
as follows:
     * * * * * * *

 TITLE III--RENT, INSTALLMENT CONTRACTS, MORTGAGES, LIENS, ASSIGNMENT, 
                                 LEASES

     * * * * * * *
[Sec. 308. Extension of protections to dependents.]
Sec. 308. Termination or suspension of service contracts.
Sec. 309. Extension of protections to dependents.
     * * * * * * *

                        TITLE VII--FURTHER RELIEF

     * * * * * * *
[Sec. 705. Guarantee of residency for military personnel.]
Sec. 705. Guarantee of residency for military personnel and spouses of 
          military personnel.
     * * * * * * *
Sec. 707. Tuition, reenrollment, and student loan relief for 
          postsecondary students called to military service.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE II--GENERAL RELIEF

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 207. MAXIMUM RATE OF INTEREST ON DEBTS INCURRED BEFORE MILITARY 
                    SERVICE.

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (c) Creditor Protection.--A court may grant a creditor relief 
from the limitations of this section if, in the opinion of the 
court, the ability of the servicemember to pay interest upon 
the obligation or liability at a rate in excess of 6 percent 
per year is not materially affected by reason of the 
servicemember's military service. This subsection shall not 
apply with respect to an obligation or liability that is 
incurred by a servicemember who, at the time the servicemember 
is called to military service, is a student enrolled within six 
months of activation at an institution of higher education on a 
full-time basis, as determined by that institution.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (e) Penalty.--Whoever knowingly violates subsection (a) shall 
be fined not more than $5,000 in the case of an individual or 
$10,000 in the case of an organization.
  (f) Rights of Servicemembers.--
          (1) Equitable relief.--
                  (A) In general.--In addition to any other 
                remedies as are provided under Federal or State 
                law, if a servicemember has reason to believe 
                that a creditor has violated or is violating 
                this section, the servicemember may--
                          (i) bring an action to enjoin such 
                        violation in any appropriate United 
                        States district court or in any other 
                        court of competent jurisdiction; and
                          (ii) bring an action to recover 
                        damages equal to three times the amount 
                        of the interest charged in violation of 
                        this section (plus interest) for which 
                        the creditor is liable to the 
                        servicemember under this section as a 
                        result of the violation.
                  (B) Determination of number of violations.--
                In determining the number of violations by a 
                creditor for which a penalty is imposed under 
                subsection (e) or subparagraph (A), the court 
                shall count as a single violation each 
                obligation or liability of a servicemember with 
                respect to which--
                          (i) the servicemember properly 
                        provided to the creditor written notice 
                        and a copy of the military orders 
                        calling the servicemember to military 
                        service and any orders further 
                        extending military service under 
                        subsection (b); and
                          (ii) the creditor failed to treat in 
                        accordance with subsection (a).
          (2) Attorney fees.--If a servicemember is awarded 
        damages under an action described under paragraph (1), 
        the servicemember shall be awarded, in addition, the 
        costs of the action and reasonable attorney fees, as 
        determined by the court.
  (g) Preservation of Other Remedies.--The rights and remedies 
provided under subsections (e) and (f) are in addition to and 
do not preclude any other remedy available under law to a 
person claiming relief under this section, including any award 
for consequential or punitive damages.

 TITLE III--RENT, INSTALLMENT CONTRACTS, MORTGAGES, LIENS, ASSIGNMENT, 
LEASES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 308. TERMINATION OR SUSPENSION OF SERVICE CONTRACTS.

  (a) Termination or Suspension by Servicemember.--A person in 
military service who is party to or enters into a contract 
described in subsection (c) may terminate or suspend, at the 
person's option, the contract at any time after the date of the 
person's military orders, as described in subsection (c).
  (b) Special Rules.--(1) A suspension under subsection (a) of 
a contract by a person in military service shall continue for 
the length of the person's deployment pursuant to the person's 
military orders.
  (2) A service provider under a contract suspended or 
terminated under subsection (a) by a person in military service 
may not impose a suspension fee or early termination fee in 
connection with the suspension or termination of the contract, 
other than a nominal fee for the suspension; except that the 
service provider may impose a reasonable fee for any equipment 
remaining on the premises of the person in military service 
during the period of the suspension. The person in military 
service may defer, without penalty, payment of such a nominal 
fee or reasonable fee for the length of the person's deployment 
pursuant to the person's military orders.
  (3) In any case in which the contract being suspended under 
subsection (a) is for cellular telephone service or telephone 
exchange service, the person in military service, after the 
date on which the suspension of the contract ends, may keep, to 
the extent practicable and in accordance with all applicable 
laws and regulations, the same telephone number the person had 
before the person suspended the contract.
  (c) Covered Contracts.--This section applies to a contract 
for cellular telephone service, telephone exchange service, 
multichannel video programming service, Internet access 
service, water, electricity, oil, gas, or other utility if the 
person enters into the contract and thereafter receives 
military orders--
          (1) to deploy with a military unit, or as an 
        individual, in support of a contingency operation for a 
        period of not less than 90 days; or
          (2) for a change of permanent station to a location 
        that does not support the contract.
  (d) Manner of Termination or Suspension.--
          (1) In general.--Termination or suspension of a 
        contract under subsection (a) is made by delivery by 
        the person in military service of written notice of 
        such termination or suspension and a copy of the 
        servicemember's military orders to the other party to 
        the contract (or to that party's grantee or agent).
          (2) Nature of notice.--Delivery of notice under 
        paragraph (1) may be accomplished--
                  (A) by hand delivery;
                  (B) by private business carrier;
                  (C) by facsimile; or
                  (D) by placing the written notice and a copy 
                of the servicemember's military orders in an 
                envelope with sufficient postage and with 
                return receipt requested, and addressed as 
                designated by the party to be notified (or that 
                party's grantee or agent), and depositing the 
                envelope in the United States mails.
  (e) Date of Contract Termination or Suspension.--Termination 
or suspension of a service contract under subsection (a) is 
effective as of the date on which the notice under subsection 
(d) is delivered.
  (f) Other Obligations and Liabilities.--The service provider 
under the contract may not impose an early termination or 
suspension charge, but any tax or any other obligation or 
liability of the person in military service that, in accordance 
with the terms of the contract, is due and unpaid or 
unperformed at the time of termination or suspension of the 
contract shall be paid or performed by the person in military 
service.
  (g) Fees Paid in Advance.--A fee or amount paid in advance 
for a period after the effective date of the termination of the 
contract shall be refunded to the person in military service by 
the other party (or that party's grantee or agent) within 60 
days of the effective date of the termination of the contract.
  (h) Relief to Other Party.--Upon application by the other 
party to the contract to a court before the termination date 
provided in the written notice, relief granted by this section 
to a person in military service may be modified as justice and 
equity require.
  (i) Penalties.--
          (1) Misdemeanor.--Whoever knowingly violates or 
        attempts to violate this section shall be fined not 
        more than $5,000 in the case of an individual or 
        $10,000 in the case of an organization.
          (2) Preservation.--The remedy and rights provided 
        under this section are in addition to and do not 
        preclude any remedy for wrongful conversion otherwise 
        available under law to the person claiming relief under 
        this section, including any award for consequential or 
        punitive damages.
  (j) Equitable Relief.--
          (1) In general.--In addition to any other remedy 
        available under law, if a person in military service 
        has reason to believe that another party to a contract 
        has violated or is violating this section, the person 
        in military service may--
                  (A) bring an action to enjoin the violation 
                in any appropriate United States district court 
                or in any other court of competent 
                jurisdiction; or
                  (B) bring an action in any appropriate United 
                States district court or in any other court of 
                competent jurisdiction to recover damages equal 
                to three times the amount for which the other 
                party is liable to the person in military 
                service under this section.
          (2) Attorney fees.--If a person in military service 
        is awarded damages under an action described under 
        paragraph (1), the person shall be awarded, in 
        addition, the costs of the action and reasonable 
        attorney fees, as determined by the court.
  (k) Definitions.--For the purposes of this section, the 
following definitions apply:
          (1) Multichannel video programming service.--The term 
        ``multichannel video programming service'' means video 
        programming service provided by a multichannel video 
        programming distributor, as such term is defined in 
        section 602(13) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 
        U.S.C. 522(13)).
          (2) Internet access service.--The term ``Internet 
        access service'' has the meaning given that term under 
        section 231(e)(4) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 
        U.S.C. 231(e)(4)).
          (3) Cellular telephone service.--The term ``cellular 
        telephone service'' means commercial mobile service, as 
        that term is defined in section 332(d) of the 
        Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 332(d)).
          (4) Telephone exchange service.--The term ``telephone 
        exchange service'' has the meaning given that term 
        under section 3 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 
        U.S.C. 153).

SEC. [308.] 309. EXTENSION OF PROTECTIONS TO DEPENDENTS.

  Upon application to a court, a dependent of a servicemember 
is entitled to the protections of this title if the dependent's 
ability to comply with a lease, contract, bailment, or other 
obligation is materially affected by reason of the 
servicemember's military service.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE V--TAXES AND PUBLIC LANDS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 511. RESIDENCE FOR TAX PURPOSES.

  (a) Residence or Domicile.--[A servicemember]
          (1) Servicemember.--A servicemember shall neither 
        lose nor acquire a residence or domicile for purposes 
        of taxation with respect to the person, personal 
        property, or income of the servicemember by reason of 
        being absent or present in any tax jurisdiction of the 
        United States solely in compliance with military 
        orders.
          (2) Spouse of servicemember.--A spouse of a 
        servicemember shall neither lose nor acquire a 
        residence or domicile for purposes of taxation with 
        respect to the person, personal property, or income of 
        the spouse by reason of being absent or present in any 
        tax jurisdiction of the United States solely to be with 
        the servicemember in compliance with the 
        servicemember's military orders if the residence or 
        domicile, as the case may be, is the same for the 
        servicemember and the spouse.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE VII--FURTHER RELIEF

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 705. [GUARANTEE OF RESIDENCY FOR MILITARY PERSONNEL.] GUARANTEE OF 
                    RESIDENCY FOR MILITARY PERSONNEL AND SPOUSES OF 
                    MILITARY PERSONNEL.

  [For] (a) For the purposes of voting for any Federal office 
(as defined in section 301 of the Federal Election Campaign Act 
of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 431)) or a State or local office, a person 
who is absent from a State in compliance with military or naval 
orders shall not, solely by reason of that absence--
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (b) For the purposes of voting for any Federal office (as 
defined in section 301 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 
1971 (2 U.S.C. 431)) or a State or local office, a person who 
is absent from a State because the person is accompanying the 
person's spouse who is absent from that same State in 
compliance with military or naval orders shall not, solely by 
reason of that absence--
          (1) be deemed to have lost a residence or domicile in 
        that State, without regard to whether or not the person 
        intends to return to that State;
          (2) be deemed to have acquired a residence or 
        domicile in any other State; or
          (3) be deemed to have become a resident in or a 
        resident of any other State.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 707. TUITION, REENROLLMENT, AND STUDENT LOAN RELIEF FOR 
                    POSTSECONDARY STUDENTS CALLED TO MILITARY SERVICE.

  (a) Tuition and Reenrollment.--Whenever a servicemember is 
called, activated, or ordered to military service and withdraws 
or takes a leave of absence from an institution of higher 
education in which the servicemember is enrolled, the 
institution shall--
          (1) provide a credit or refund to the servicemember 
        the tuition and fees paid by the servicemember (other 
        than from the proceeds of a grant or scholarship) for 
        the portion of the program of education for which the 
        servicemember did not receive academic credit after 
        such withdrawal or leave; and
          (2) provide the servicemember an opportunity to 
        reenroll with the same educational and academic status 
        in such program of education that the servicemember had 
        when activated for military service.
  (b) Institution of Higher Education Defined.--In this 
section, the term ``institution of higher education'' means a 
2-year or 4-year institution of higher education as defined in 
section 102 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 
1002).