LANSING, Michigan – State Rep. George Darany offered two amendments to an occupational licensing bill package on Wednesday that will exempt veterans from paying fees for professional licenses. The amendments would make it easier for cash-strapped vets to move from unemployment into good-paying jobs. Having cleared the House, the proposals now move to the Michigan Senate for approval.
“As our military men and women return home from overseas, it is important that we do everything we can to repay our debt to them,” said Darany, who serves on the House Military and Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security Committee. “We should be doing everything we can to remove obstacles to employment for our brave military members and their families who have already sacrificed so much.”
Around the nation, veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from higher unemployment rates than the general population. In July, their unemployment rate nationwide was 8.9 percent, compared to the general population’s rate of 8.3 percent. In 2011, Michigan veterans had an average unemployment rate of 11.2 percent for the year, compared to the statewide average of 10.3 percent.
Michigan House Democrats offered amendments to occupational licensing bills that would exempt honorably discharged veterans from paying fees for state-issued licenses. The licenses are needed for a number of professions, such as plumbers, building inspectors and electricians.
“I applaud my colleagues in the House for approving these amendments,” Darany said. “These heroic individuals returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan face many challenges as they adjust to civilian life and these changes will help make it easier for them to find good-paying jobs that can support them and their families. As a member of the House Military and Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security Committee, it is an honor to stand up for our veterans.”