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Tester’s VOW to Hire Heroes Act Passes Senate

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The outcome may not have been unanimous but it was as close as it could get as the Senate recently passed Montana Senator Jon Tester’s bill to put more veterans back to work.

The VOW to Hire Heroes Act aims to connect veterans with good-paying jobs and passed by a Senate vote of 94-1. The bill combines popular proposals from both sides of the aisle and Tester has called it “the most significant piece of veterans’ jobs legislation since I’ve been in the Senate.”

“This package has good ideas from both Republicans and Democrats,” Tester said. “Its passage is a victory that belongs to the many Montanans who came to me with concerns over this nation’s unacceptably high veterans’ unemployment rate.”

According to a press release, a major component of the bill is a proposal Tester introduced earlier this year to make the transition to post-military work as seamless as possible. For years, veterans have faced difficulty counting their military experience toward professional skills certifications.

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Aspects of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act include:

  • Military experience counting for veterans who wish to become civilian truck drivers, paramedics or health providers, mechanics or engineers,
  • Provides tax incentives for companies that hire veterans – particularly those who have been unemployed for long periods of time,
  • Makes the Transition Assistance Program mandatory for most service members transitioning to civilian status,
  • Expands educational and training opportunities for older veterans

Tester has stated the Act will not increase the national deficit and will not raise taxes.

Text of his VOW to Hire Heroes Act is available online here.