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Tester Introduces Bill to Benefit Veterans Employment Assistance

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In a bill introduced June 30 by Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., it’s a scenario of simple math.

Having one for every 5,000 square miles compared to one every 22,600 square miles is a much better fit.

The bill looks to increase access to experts who can help rural veterans with employment opportunities. Tester’s Montana is a prime example where the current system doesn’t work. Currently the state he represents is the fourth-largest state in the nation and has six job counselors that cover the 22,000-plus square miles each.

“This is another good example of how a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t cut it for Montana,” Tester said. “The needs of veterans in rural Montana are far different from the needs of a veteran in an urban area. My bill is a step towards making sure that Montana’s veterans have equal access to the resources available as they look for work after their military service.”

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His bill is asking the Department of Labor to hire more experts to the tune of one every 5,000 square miles, which would give Montana veterans access to 23 full-time counselors according to a press release.

The bill passed the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, which Tester is Montana’s only member of, on June 29.