Hayes’ bill to aid veteran employment gains House approval

A measure to help veterans become eligible for hiring benefits immediately upon honorable discharge from the military gained unanimous approval Monday in the state House of Representatives.

House Bill 1369, introduced by 10th District State Rep. Dave Hayes, would expand the definition of “veteran” in state law as a person who is in receipt of certain documents that characterize his or her service as “honorable.” The definition of “veteran” is used as an eligibility requirement for various benefits, including free license plate decals, license plates for disabled veterans and prisoners of war, admission to state soldiers’ and veterans’ homes, veterans’ scoring preference on civil service exams, and veteran homeownership down-payment assistance programs.

Hayes says there’s a lag time in the transition period for veterans between the time of honorable discharge from the service and entering into civilian employment. Under current law, those veterans in that transition period and using the last of their accrued leave (known as “terminal leave’) from the military are unable to claim hiring preference points for the purpose of applying for civil service employment.

“This bill is meant to assist those military members that are transitioning off their active military duty and to their private lives by allowing them to claim their veterans’ preference points for civil service tests” said Hayes, R-Camano Island. “This legislation would fix the gap and help our veterans who are returning to civilian status to secure gainful employment sooner.”

The measure heads to the Senate for further consideration.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov