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Governor to Sign Veterans Bill Today

Photo: First Lady Michelle Obama will be at a bill signing in Annapolis. Photo credit: The White House
April 17. 2013
Photo: First Lady Michelle Obama will be at a bill signing in Annapolis. Photo credit: The White House

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - First Lady Michelle Obama will be in Annapolis today as Gov. Martin O'Malley signs legislation that will help veterans get jobs.

The Veterans Full Employment Act, which passed the General Assembly a few weeks ago, would enable veterans who apply for occupational and professional licenses to get credit for their military training.

Maryland's American Legion commander, Gail Murdock, said military medics and nurses shouldn't have to start their education from scratch after they've returned from a war zone.

"Let's face it,” he said. “A lot of our military medics have actually probably been performing minor surgery on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan."

The law also requires public colleges in Maryland to award academic credit for relevant military training.

Murdock said veterans need jobs right away and often don't have time to spend in the classroom.

"To get all these classes, it might take two, three, four years when they're already highly qualified," he said.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans in Maryland is about 7.1 percent.

Text of the legislation is online at mgaleg.maryland.gov. The unemployment statistics are at jec.senate.gov.

Alison Burns, Public News Service - MD