Legislation will increase educational and employment opportunities
Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Senate today passed three bills designed to increase educational and employment opportunities for Granite State veterans.
After studying House Bill 624 over the summer, the Senate Finance Committee recommended its passage in order to ensure veterans who relocate to New Hampshire have access to affordable high-quality post-secondary education. The bill would waive the existing twelve-month residency requirement and permit veterans to attend the state’s public institutions at the in-state rate “immediately after establishing residence.” The Finance Committee amended the bill to apply the change to the Community College System as well as the University System.
“Allowing our nation’s veterans who make New Hampshire their home to continue their education at reduced in-state rates is the least we can do in gratitude for their service,” said Senate Finance Chair Jeanie Forrester, R-Meredith. “This legislation was fully supported by the University and the Community College Systems and will greatly benefit our veterans seeking to further their education and improve their employment prospects.”
Next, to support New Hampshire veterans’ transitioning back to the civilian workforce, Senate Executive Departments and Administration (ED&A) Chairman Sharon Carson, R-Londonderry, introduced Senate Bill 296, which would make it the policy of the State of New Hampshire to grant hiring preference to veterans applying for civil service positions. The bill follows the recommendation of a legislative study committee and was crafted with input from the Department of Labor, the Department of Employment Services, and the Office of Veterans Services.
“Our veterans face unique challenges when transitioning from service to civilian life, yet we recognize that their training and experience have also prepared them with unique skills that can be of great benefit to the state and our public employers,” said Sen. Carson. “This legislation will have an immediate effect on the veteran unemployment rate in New Hampshire and would encourage public employers to embrace the wealth of skills and knowledge our state’s veterans can bring to all levels of state and local public service.”
Relatedly, HB234 would require all of the state’s licensing and certification boards to accept training and education completed in the military towards meeting the qualifications required to receive the various licenses, certificates or registrations offered by the state. “This legislation would allow New Hampshire veterans to apply their years of military training towards the licenses they need to start a business or apply for a job upon their return to the Granite State,” said Sen. Sam Cataldo, R-Farmington, a member of the Senate ED&A Committee. “HB234 is common sense legislation that permits the state to recognize the outstanding training received by our nation’s service members and will assist New Hampshire veterans in their transition back to civilian life.”
All three bills passed the Senate earlier today on a voice vote.