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New laws could help veterans get jobs

Photo: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday signed a slate of bills that he said will make a “big impact” on helping veterans and military spouses pursue jobs.

The new laws are designed to do such things as provide tuition breaks for veterans and allow their military experience to count when applying for jobs in government and schools.

One of the measures (HB 45) will give tuition and fee waivers to disabled veterans to supplement federal assistance. Beginning with the upcoming school year, the tuition breaks will apply to disabled veterans enrolled in courses at state colleges, universities and career or technical centers.

“Because oftentimes, the availability of assistance through the (federal) G.I. Bill is not sufficient to fully cover their tuition. We’re going to close the gap with this bill, and this is going to make a big difference,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis also signed legislation (SB 514) that will allow state and local government agencies to “substitute verifiable, related work experience in lieu of postsecondary educational requirements” when hiring job candidates.

The law does not explicitly mention military members or veterans, but the governor billed it as being geared toward helping them.

Another measure (SB 896) is aimed at helping veterans become teachers. It will ease requirements related to getting temporary teaching certificates for veterans with at least 48 months of active-duty military service.

Other bills signed Thursday by DeSantis are aimed at helping service members’ families. One such measure (SB 562) will require the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation to expedite occupational-licensing applications submitted by spouses of active-duty military members.

Most of the new laws will go into effect July 1.

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