A measure to protect deployed soldiers from certain legal actions has been unanimously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Under Senate Bill 466, by Sen. Frank Simpson, a soldier’s deployment time could not be counted under the statute of limitations if legal action is brought against that individual.

“This bill is about protecting the rights of deployed soldiers. They can’t protect or represent themselves in legal cases when they’re fighting overseas. It’s ludicrous to expect them to and it’s even worse to punish them for doing their job,” said Simpson, R-Springer.

Simpson said there have been numerous instances where deployed veterans and their families are continually harassed over legal issues such as foreclosures.

“Troops don’t need the distraction of worrying about their families and their future. They have plenty to worry about when they’re fighting in a war,” Simpson said. “Not only is this unfair to the soldier, but a distracted soldier is a danger to his colleagues so this is an issue that could put others in danger. We need to allow our soldiers to take care of their legal issues when they get home.”

The committee struck title on the measure, which will next be heard by the full Senate.