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SDPB Radio Coverage of the South Dakota Legislature. See all coverage and find links to audio and video streams live from the Capitol at www.sdpb.org/statehouse

Bill Offers Credit Hours for Military Veterans

The Senate State Affairs committee passed a bill Wednesday morning that allows veterans to receive credit for certain military experience and training. House Bill 1180 permits professional boards or commissions to give veterans credit toward licensing for their military experience. The bill doesn’t take away the need for licensure—it just lets military hours count toward hours on the job needed to become certified. Representative Scott Parsley is the bill’s primary sponsor.

“This is really important right now because as the Department of Labor has told us in several briefings this year, by 2020 we’re going to be about 50,000 people short in our workforce in South Dakota. A lot of those will be trades and crafts, but some of those will be professionals as well. This is just another opportunity to help fill some of those needed jobs that we’ll have coming up in the next 12 years, or eight years, in South Dakota so that we cannot be short in our workforce. I think the other thing it does is it does tell our military people that we do care about your service, you’ve been in what many have referred to me as the best trade school in the country, which is military training,” Parsley says.

Parsley says the state’s 36 agencies that require licensing support this measure, and two of them already offer military credit. Supporters of the bill say South Dakota’s veteran unemployment rate is higher than the state average, and this legislation would help reduce that.