For Immediate Release: May 1, 2012
Occupation bill to support military personnel heads to Governor
A measure to help returning veterans use their military
training and skills to better qualify for employment is on its
way to the Governor’s desk after receiving overwhelming
support from both legislative bodies. Senate Bill 1863, by retired
Army Lt. Colonel Sen. Steve Russell and Rep. Ann Coody, creates
the Post-Military Service Occupation, Education and Credentialing
“Most military personnel don’t have the opportunity
to go to college prior to enlisting but they obtain training,
education and skills that are just as useful in the workforce
as anything they could learn in a college classroom,” said
Russell, R-Oklahoma City. “This bill will help veterans
save time by getting them college credits for any training or
education they received in the military. We want to help them
get that degree or occupation license or certification as quickly
as possible so they can return to the civilian workforce.”
SB 1863 would allow Oklahoma colleges, university and technology
centers to provide academic credit to a military veteran, who
was honorably discharged in the previous three years, for any
applicable education, training and experience received through
military duty that pertains to his or her area of study. Governing
boards must adopt policies for military academic credit by January
1, 2013, and courses must meet the standards of the American Council
on Education or equivalent standards.
The measure also instructs administrative bodies,
state agency directors or officials with authority over professional
licensure to accept qualifications received during military service
and apply them toward licensure where applicable.
“Most employers won’t recognize the alternative training
and education veterans receive in the military. This bill will
apply veterans’ knowledge and skills obtained during service
to whatever area of education or employment they’re seeking,”
said Coody, R-Lawton. “This is a tremendous bill that will
help our veterans and their spouses qualify for more jobs.”
SB 1863 will also help the spouses of active military find employment
easier by requiring agencies, boards and commissions to develop
procedures to expedite the licensure of military spouse applicants.
In order to qualify, the military member must be on active duty
within the state or claim permanent residency in the state for
six months prior to assignment to active duty or during the period
of active duty. The applicant must be certified in another state
to perform those professional services and have left employment
in another state to accompany the spouse on active duty. A temporary
permit may be issued if the person needs to complete additional
requirements not required in the previous state.
Once signed into law, SB 1863, which was requested by the U.S.
Department of Defense’s state liaison, will go into effect
November 1, 2012.