Kilmer-Rolfes bill gives credit for military training

Legislation to eliminate unnecessary training for military veterans who seek civilian employment is on its way to the governor to be signed into law.

Senate Bill 5307, sponsored by Sen. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, would evaluate the skills men and women already possess and apply it to educational and licensing requirements in private-sector health professions.

SB 5307, having already passed the Senate, passed the House today on a 91-2 vote.

Rep. Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island, sponsored companion legislation in the House, but as both bills progressed the lawmakers agreed to go with the Senate version.

Conversely, Rolfes and Kilmer each sponsored related legislation that eliminates unnecessary training for military veterans who seek private-sector positions requiring a different variety of professional licenses.

In that case, as both bills progressed, they agreed to go with Rolfes’ version, House Bill 1481.

That bill passed the House 92-0 on Feb. 7 and is awaiting a vote in the Senate.

“This bill is about recognizing the knowledge and experience of our veterans and paying due deference to their service to our country,” Kilmer said. “Just as they acted in our interests while deployed, we are now acting in their interests as they re-enter the civilian workforce.”

Under SB 5307, veterans’ relevant military training would be considered toward satisfying licensing requirements in a variety of health professions: denturists; dispensing opticians; ocularists; pharmacy assistants; physician assistants; osteopathic physician assistants; emergency medical technicians; radiologic technologists; nursing assistants; respiratory care practitioners; health care assistants; surgical technologists; dental assistants; expanded function dental auxiliaries; physical therapists; and physical therapy assistants.

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