State legislators in Ohio responded to growing unemployment rates among veterans and members of the National Guard and Reserves by unanimously passing H.B. 98 last Wednesday.
The bill was cosponsored by Rep. Anne Gonzales (R-Westerville) and Rep. Wes Retherford (R-Hamilton), and gathered widespread support from both Democrats and Republicans after its introduction this March. Leaders in the House such as Rep. Brian Hill (R-Gainesville) applauded the bill's passage, announcing that "this bill comes at a great time when an industry such as shale development is looking for a well-trained and dedicated workforce. We want to welcome our veterans home and help them find employment."
H.B. 98 helps veterans apply for professional licenses in Ohio, a state where the military specialties taught by the Ohio National Guard directly relate to 47 of the 66 professional licenses offered. Additionally, the bill offers extensions of licenses to members of the National Guard whose licenses have expired while they were mobilized overseas.
The bill will now move to the Ohio Senate, where it is expected to pass easily. Members of the House continue to throw their support behind the bill, including Rep. Mark Romanchuk (R-Ontario), who stressed that the bill ensures that when "Ohio military veterans return home, they are not at a disadvantage in finding work." "This is common sense legislation that permits returning heroes to re-enter the workforce without delay,” he said.
If you would like to help the servicemen and women in your community find employment, please visit the Center for America website to learn more about the American Jobs for American Heroes campaign.