Series of Bills Pass Senate to Support Military Families and Eliminate Barriers for Veterans

COLUMBUS—State Senator Frank LaRose (R-Hudson) this week announced the Senate passage of two pieces of legislation to help support military families and eliminate barriers for veterans.

In an effort to assist military families, Senator LaRose authored Senate Bill 116 which would allow spouses of active duty military members to be eligible for unemployment compensation when their family is transferred to a new duty assignment. Currently, 45 other states and the District of Columbia provide similar benefits to military spouses.

“Our military members and their families make countless sacrifices every day in the service of our nation,” said LaRose. “The choice of whether or not to keep their families together when they are ordered to move should not be added to that list of sacrifices. This legislation will not only help our military families feel more financially secure when faced with a move, but will make Ohio a more welcoming state to all service members.”

This legislation is supported by U.S. Department of Defense, the Ohio Department of Veterans Services, the Ohio National Guard and a number of other veterans’ organizations.

The Senate also concurred on changes made by the House of Representatives to Senate Bill 170, sponsored by Senator LaRose, which will waive the skills test for a commercial driver’s license for veterans who have applicable military certifications.

Senate Bill 170 would require the Director of Public Safety to seek approval from the United States Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to create a temporary pilot program, allowing many qualified veterans the opportunity to pursue a profitable career as a truck operator.

“When transitioning back to civilian life, our veterans should be afforded every opportunity to use the skills they gained while serving in the military,” said LaRose. “This bill not only helps them use those skills, but also helps Ohio fill the thousands of desirable trucking jobs that remain unfilled due to a lack qualified applicants. Businesses desire a talented and dedicated workforce; our veterans are exactly what they are looking for.”

Currently, veterans have two years from the time they are discharged from the military to use the current CDL training waiver and begin working as a professional truck driver. The removal of the restrictive two year time limit and waiver of the skills test would allow military veterans to be exempt from regularly required CDL licensure training.

Senate Bill 116 will now move to the Ohio House of Representatives for further consideration and Senate Bill 170 will head to the Governor to be signed.

From a press release originally posted on OhioSenate.gov/LaRose