Sen. Felag and Rep. Azzinaro bill to create commission to study veteran education and employment opportunities passes General Assembly
STATE HOUSE – Sen. Walter S. Felag, Jr. (D-Dist. 10, Warren, Bristol, Tiverton) and Rep. Samuel A. Azzinaro’s (D-Dist. 37, Westerly) legislation (2017-S 0951 / 2017-H 6351) that would create a 13 member special legislative commission to study veteran and military spouse education and employment opportunities passed the General Assembly tonight.
“There is no doubt in our minds that we – as a government, as a state, as a people – owe an extraordinary debt to those who have served and are serving in our nation’s military and defending the freedom and rights we all enjoy. With that said, we cannot do enough to assist our veterans, active duty military and their spouses for they are truly a valuable asset to the state’s economy. That is why we believe this study commission is very good step in the direction of making our state a more military friendly state,” said Senator Felag, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Special Legislation and Veterans’ Affairs.
“We must support our American heroes and their families as much as possible in order to thank them for their honorable service to our country. By making it easier for them to utilize their educational benefits and streamlining the process to work within the state, we are making their transition back to civilian life a much smoother process. It is the least we can do for them after all they have done and sacrificed for us,” said Representative Azzinaro, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
“Veterans and military spouses are an asset to our state, but they face unique challenges when looking for jobs. It can be difficult to obtain formal civilian recognition of their military training and out-of-state occupational licenses,” said Kasim J. Yarn, the state’s Director of Veterans Affairs. “This commission gives us a great opportunity to find ways to streamline processes and identify common-sense solutions to reduce some of the barriers to employment. I look forward to working with our partners in the General Assembly, my fellow state agencies, and our friends in the private sector on this worthy endeavor.”
The purpose of the commission will be to study and discuss national best practices and the implementation of said practices in regards to the state's current status of "Yellow Ribbon" schools; the educational optimization of the Post-9/11 GI Bill's educational benefits; and the legislation and regulations needed to offer active-duty military spouses and veterans expedited state certifications or professional licensure either through reciprocity with other states with similar requirements or accepting relevant military training and experience for the purposes of certification requirements or via temporary licensure/certifications that would allow these individuals to work while completing outstanding state requirements for full licensure and/or certification.
The bill now heads to the governor for consideration.
For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903