Betts supports bill that helps veterans

HARTFORD – In support of military veterans, State Representative Whit Betts (R-Bristol, Plymouth) voted in favor of legislation aimed at assisting those who have been discharged from service transition back into civilian life and workforce. The measure will allow credit for military service and waive fees on certain licenses and exams for veterans entering the workforce.

H.B. 5299 – An Act Concerning the Findings of the Military Occupational Specialty Task Force – requires various governmental entities to certify, waive, grant, or award certain licenses, registrations, examinations, training, or credit for veterans with military experience or qualifications.   

“This bill goes a long way toward supporting our veterans as they assimilate back into their civilian lives,” said Betts in a press release from his office. “It also validates the training and learning they’ve gained during their military tenure. It is my hope that this legislation not only will honor their service to our country, but will also assist veterans in their employment searches.” 

Under the bill, unless specifically noted, a veteran is anyone honorably discharged or released under honorable conditions from active service from the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Air Force and any of their reserve components.

The legislation also would waive operators’ license exams at the Department of Motor Vehicles and the apprentice requirement for certain occupations before sitting for licensing exams. Additionally, the legislation outlines conditions under which military service can be substituted for college credit.

Additionally, veterans upon discharge from the armed forces or National Guard may submit an application for military training evaluation to the Department of Labor (DOL) apprentice training program. If the DOL commissioner determines the applicant’s military training is equivalent and transferrable, the applicant’s hours of qualified military training may be applied toward specific trade apprenticeship training requirements.

The bill passed in the House by a unanimous vote of 143-0 and awaits further action by the Senate. 

The General Assembly of Connecticut will adjourn the 2014 legislative session at midnight tonight.

Representative Betts represents the towns of Bristol, Plymouth, and Terryville in the General Assembly.