Sacramento – Senator Andy Vidak (R-Hanford) announced today that he has introduced Senate Bill 1137, which would require the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) and the California Department of Consumers Affairs (DCA) to increase awareness and notification for veterans regarding professional licensing benefits that are already available to them.
Professional licenses are required of persons employed in numerous occupations such as healthcare, trucking, security, construction, and carpentry.
The bill specifically directs CalVet and DCA to create and execute awareness and outreach campaigns designed to notify veterans of these professional licensing benefits. Through the use of existing communication channels such as newsletters, websites, and veterans groups, SB 1137 would ensure that more veterans and their spouses are aware of benefits they are already entitled to.
“We need to do anything and everything we can to ensure veterans can continue to succeed after separating from the military,” said Vidak. “SB 1137 is a small but vital piece of the puzzle to reduce veteran unemployment and ensure that the men and women who have served our country are rewarded for their sacrifice.”
California is home to approximately 1.9 million veterans, more than any other state. Among veterans, especially men ages 25-35, unemployment rates are significantly higher than the national average, according to a 2016 report from the Little Hoover Commission.
The California State Legislature has previously passed legislation aimed at helping veterans obtain professional licenses. This has included – expediting many licensing processes for veterans and their spouses, temporarily honoring out of state licenses for military spouses in a variety of healthcare professions, renewing a professional license if a veteran is deployed overseas, and systemizing the DCA process for crediting a veteran’s military training.
Despite these important measures, the Little Hoover Commission noted that veterans and their spouses still face obstacles towards earning professional licenses. One reason is that many veterans and their spouses are unaware of existing benefits.