Baucus introduces bill to help veterans find employment

2013-01-25T06:00:00Z 2013-02-18T16:45:42Z Baucus introduces bill to help veterans find employment missoulian.com

Montana U.S. Sen. Max Baucus on Thursday introduced a bill to help veterans transfer military skills to the civilian workforce and sweeten the tax credit offered to businesses that hire veterans.

Baucus, a Democrat, highlighted his VETs Jobs Bill before the Montana Legislature last week. He officially introduced the bill to the U.S. Senate on Thursday, saying service members deserved to return home to good-paying jobs.

“This is a real jobs bill for Montana because we have more veterans per capita than nearly anywhere else in the country,” Baucus said. “I’m calling on Congress and the president to join me in declaring war on veterans’ unemployment and work together to get this done.”

The new bill, co-sponsored by Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., would help veterans transfer military skills into the civilian workforce by expanding a program started in 2012. The program enables enlisted service members to obtain the civilian equivalent license or certificate for skills earned in the military.

Also included in the bill is a measure to meet a 1999 goal of ensuring that 3 percent of all prime contracts and subcontracts be awarded to small businesses owned by veterans who were disabled during their service.

The goal has never been met, Baucus said. The new bill would pressure agencies to meet the 3 percent goal through better disclosure and public review.

"Preparing veterans to use their military skills in civilian jobs honors their service,” said Tester. “It’s important that we support employers who hire our heroes and ensure that our most dedicated Americans find good-paying jobs."

The VETs Jobs Bill also looks to increase the coordination and accountability of veteran employment programs. Lastly, Baucus said, it would improve the tax credit for businesses that hire vets.

Montana has the second highest rate of veterans per capita in the country. In 2011, roughly 1,000 veterans of the Iraq and Afghan wars were unemployed in Montana, and 234,000 were unemployed nationwide.

Baucus said that in 2010, the state’s unemployment rate among veterans of the Iraq and Afghan wars was 20.3 percent. It dropped to 17.5 in 2011.

“When our men and women in uniform put their lives on hold to protect our nation, they deserve to come home to good-paying jobs and a nation that honors their service,” Baucus said.

Reporter Martin Kidston can be reached at 523-5260, or at martin.kidston@missoulian.com.

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(6) Comments

  1. MontanaNative1ed7
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    MontanaNative1ed7 - January 24, 2013 11:15 pm
    yup!
  2. Nils
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    Nils - January 24, 2013 9:51 pm
    The most recent veterans' job bill was defeated in the Senate last fall. It failed to identify how it would be paid for. It violated the Budget Control Act.

    If it is important, cut something somewhere else to pay for it. I realize Hairy Reid hates the word "cut," but someday, you will have to.
  3. montanamuralist
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    montanamuralist - January 24, 2013 8:35 pm
    Always kills me to read comments here that play right in to the insurance companies hands and deny a legitimate vote, despite Republican attempts to suppress the vote around the country. Fact is that a majority of the country voted for Obamacare in the last election, whether any of the wingnuts here want to admit it or not. Meanwhile, Max.....t5hanks for another worthless veterans bill. It is not going to get out of the Senate because you, being the hge disappointment you are, voted for that ridiculous deal tonight on the filibuster rule...basically giving McConnell whatever he wanted to maintain gridlock in the Senate. So your just doing campaign rhetoric here because this ting has o chance of passing because you and Harry Reid and other Democrats in the Senate need to take a political Viagra pill and have some guts for a change. Really disgraceful....
  4. sofaking tired of the GOP
    Report Abuse
    sofaking tired of the GOP - January 24, 2013 7:34 pm
    How did I know this would be called a bad thing on here? Too funny. This bill alone would be more than Denny accomplished in 12 years.
  5. Alan Johnson
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    Alan Johnson - January 24, 2013 6:50 pm
    Way to go, Max!!!!
  6. hellgatenights
    Report Abuse
    hellgatenights - January 24, 2013 3:43 pm
    Right. Democrats love quotas and "Set aside" programs because it "Feels" right and buys a few more votes.

    Fact: The current DVSB program is almost entirely fraud. Contracts simply hire a vet with the right credentials, then the general contractor can bid on the project and get the "Set aside" preference of 5%. This means the contractor can win a contract even though his bid price is not the lowest. FAIR???

    The feds do this with black, indians, women and any other "Soup D' Jour".

    It's ALL Wrong. It's your gread tax monites they are abusing and ALL these programs are heavily abused. This I know for a fact.

    Max.......why don't you and Big Jon reverese that miserable obamacare you stuffed down our piehole? We didn't want that Max........only you and your progressive freinds in congress wanted it.

    Leave Max......you are a disgrass. Take your 3rd wife and go "Happy place" on the lake,
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