State Representatives Anne Gonzales (R-Westerville) and Wes Retherford (R-Hamilton) have announced that Amended Substitute House Bill 98—legislation that strives to assist Ohio’s newest generation of veterans by helping them find employment upon returning home from deployment—has passed both the Ohio House and Ohio Senate, and now awaits the signature of Governor Kasich.

Am. Sub. H.B. 98 would allow state licensing agencies to consider a veteran’s skill set when they apply for a license, as well as grant special extensions to members of the Reserve and National Guard whose licenses expired while they were mobilized.

In addition to granting extensions for license renewals, House Bill 98 also will allow boards to grant extensions for members of the Reserve and National Guard for meeting their continuing education requirements.

“As we approach Veterans Day, it is important to honor the members of our armed forces who served us in a time of war,” said Rep. Gonzales. “I believe that this common-sense legislation is needed to help aid in the transitions these men and women make as they separate from the service. Also, this will protect the members of our reserve forces that time and time again place their lives on hold to defend our rights and freedoms.”

“I am pleased with the work we were able to accomplish with House Bill 98,” said Rep. Retherford. “It’s a fitting tribute to our veterans that we were able to pass this bipartisan legislation that will help our men and women find gainful employment leaving the armed services.”

Ohio has the sixth-largest veteran population in the United States. As of last year, there were an estimated 900,000 veterans living in the state of Ohio, and of that number, nearly 650,000 have served in or in support of a theater of combat.

House Bill 98 passed unanimously from both the Ohio House and the Ohio Senate.

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