In a move to provide additional support for military families, the Iowa House of Representatives voted to expand benefits for spouses who are forced to leave their jobs because their partner received a military reassignment or deployment.

“As Iowa military families face increased deployments and reassignments, I’m proud to provide more support for our men and women in uniform. If families are forced to relocate and quit their job, the least we can do is help ease the transition for families,” said State Representative Ray Zirkelbach of Monticello, who chairs the House Veterans Affairs Committee and served in Iraq.

House File 2110, which was approved on a 56-44 vote, provides unemployment benefits for military spouses forced to relocate. The benefits come from interest on the unemployment fund, not from employer contributions.

The bill is the first in a package of initiatives outlined last week to help military families and veterans. Other initiatives to help families facing relocation include protecting spouses from withdrawal penalties if they must leave college mid-term and directing state agencies to help them transfer teaching certificates or professional certifications to their new home state.

The bill now goes to the Senate.