House Bill 1537, proposed by Reps. Steve O’Ban and Jan Angel to help military men and women transition from their jobs in the armed services to those in the private sector, passed the Washington State House of Representatives unanimously on Wednesday.
Current law requires the service member to be fully separated from the military before receiving the preferential hiring benefit. House Bill 1537 would move up the timeframe service members could apply for and be considered for civilian jobs and receive the preferential benefit before their service ends.
This change would allow service men and women to accept a job in the private sector prior to their separation from the military and would eliminate potentially months of unemployment for our service members.
“This bill is about easing the transition of our military men and women into civilian life, like those of the Third Stryker Brigade I welcomed home recently. Helping them move more seamlessly from military work to a job in the private sector will be of enormous help.” said O’Ban, R-Pierce County, who has two sons serving in the United States Army at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM). “There are many leaving the service of their country who cannot afford a gap in employment, so my hope is this change in the law gives them some piece of mind.”
“One of our servicemen in Bremerton brought this problem forward to me this past summer,” said Angel, R-Port Orchard. “I am honored to be able to help our veterans in this fashion, and get them working and integrated back into our communities as soon as possible.”
O’Ban also authored House Joint Resolution 4624 honoring the return and service of the troops of the Third Stryker Brigade at JBLM. The resolution was approved in a voice vote by the House of Representatives Feb. 20. Four members of the Brigade, including the colonel, were in attendance.
House Bill 1537 will now be forwarded to the Senate for further consideration.
Information courtesy of Washington State House Republicans.