Nebraska senators announce veterans job bills



By Anna Gronewold

A coalition of Nebraska lawmakers vowed Wednesday to push for expanded veterans benefits in a state where the group’s unemployment rate of 5.8 percent is nearly double the state average.

Six senators, led by Sue Crawford of Bellevue, announced at a news conference bills detailing hiring preferences, tax exemptions and workforce training.

In 2011, the White House projected 1 million service members would leave the armed forces in the following five years. Crawford said many who retired from the military after 2001 return to an economy where they have higher rates of unemployment than veterans who retired earlier and non-veteran peers.

Crawford’s measure would allow private companies to have voluntary hiring preferences for veterans and spouses of disabled veterans. It also goes with a measure passed last year that gives veterans a preference in the hiring process for state and government jobs. At least 12 states, including Iowa, have adopted similar programs, she said.hire vets

Other bills announced Wednesday include one by Sen. Adam Morfeld of Lincoln to more effectively transfer military training to civilian experience and another to subsidize on-the-job training for veterans.

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