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East County News Service

May 30, 2017 (Sacramento) -- Today, the Veterans Employment Parity Act (AB 353) authored by Assemblyman Randy Voepel (R-Santee), passed out of the Assembly floor with unanimous support.

"I want to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for voting today on legislation that will make it easier for veterans to get a job," said Voepel. "With so many of our returning veterans struggling to attain employment, this bill will go a long way toward providing them with the opportunity to start their new career and re-integrate into civilian life."

AB 353 would permit private sector employers to establish a voluntary hiring preference policy for veterans. Today's law only allows for employers to give preference to Vietnam-era veterans when it comes to hiring decisions.

This bill would expand this law to include all Veterans, regardless of when they served. This ensures that, if they desire, employers can give preference to veterans who have served since the end of the Vietnam war, ensuring that veterans of Iraq, Afghanistan, and other conflicts can receive preference when it comes to employment.

To date, 37 states have enacted similar legislation. In addition, under current law, a veterans preference policy is allowed for public sector positions.

California has 1.8 million veterans, according to the Veterans Administration. In 2014,  Voice of San Diego reported,  San Diego had the third highest number of veterans of any county in America.   One in every ten people in San Diego County is a veteran. 

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Assemblyman Randy Voepel represents the 71st Assembly District, which includes the communities of eastern San Diego County, including Alpine, Borrego Springs, Casa de Oro - Mount Helix, El Cajon, Lakeside, Jamul, Ramona, Rancho San Diego, Santee and Spring Valley; and southern Riverside County, including Anza, Aguanga, Idyllwild-Pine Cove, Lake Riverside and Mountain Center.

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