(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Matthew Milam, Gabriela Mosquera, Timothy Eustace and Daniel R. Benson to help veterans find work was released today by the Senate Commerce Committee.
The bill (A-2882) requires professional or occupational boards that issue professional or occupational licenses or certificates to provide waivers or exemptions for any applicant who received training, education, or experience while serving as a member of the Armed Forces that is substantially equivalent to the training, education, or experience required for licensure or certification.
“The unemployment rate for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan is a stunning 29 percent,” said Milam (D-Atlantic/Cape May/Cumberland). “That means that nearly one in every three Americans who fought to defend freedom across the globe cannot find work when they return home. That is just unacceptable, and we must find ways like this to change it.”
“The unemployment rate among our returning heroes is shameful,” said Mosquera (D-Gloucester/Camden). “These are men and women who fought for our liberty, yet when they come home they are shuffled off to the unemployment line. We need to focus on changing that with common sense bills like this one.”
“If we trust these men and women with our freedom, then we should be able to trust the training they received from our Armed Forces,” said Eustace (D-Bergen/Passaic). “Having nearly one-third of our returning veterans out-of-work is just flat-out wrong. A bill like this is quite simply the right thing to do.”
“Our veterans are among the best trained people you’ll find, so let’s trust that training and put these men and women to work,” said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “These veterans deserve our best, not red tape that makes it even more difficult for them to find a job. They’ve helped us by defending our freedom, so let’s help them provide for themselves and their families with a good-paying job.”
The bill requires each board to provide for methods of evaluating the equivalence of training, education or experience obtained in the Armed Forces of the United States to the training, education, or experience required by the board for licensure or certification. Each board would also promulgate regulations on the partial or total waiver or exemption from requirements toward licensure or certification to be provided for substantially equivalent training, education, or experience obtained in the Armed Forces of the United States.
Furthermore, this bill requires each professional or occupational board that issues licenses or certificates for which professional training, education, or experience to report to the General Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee and the Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee concerning that board’s compliance with the requirements of the bill by 180 days following the date of enactment.