SACRAMENTO – Senator Andy Vidak’s (R-Hanford) Senate Bill 1137, which would help veterans in California, passed the State Senate on a unanimous 38-0 vote on Monday. It now moves to the State Assembly for consideration.
SB 1137 would require the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) to work together to increase awareness of professional licensing benefits that are available to veterans.
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 many veterans still face obstacles towards earning professional licenses. One reason is that many veterans are unaware of existing benefits.