OLYMPIA -- The Department of Defense's Military Community and Family Policy division has honored Sen. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, along with a select group of state legislators across the country, for their leadership in passing laws to help military veterans and their families.
Legislation sponsored by Kilmer that became law last week makes it easier for service men and women to receive credit for the training, education, and experience gained through their military service that may be applied toward educational and licensing requirements in certain health professions.
"Our service men and women should be recognized for their military training and education and should not be forced to start from scratch once they leave the military and begin looking for other forms of employment," Kilmer said. "I am proud of the work we were able to achieve this year in this area and am honored to join legislators around the country in supporting our veterans and their families."
DoD officials recognized Kilmer with a certificate of appreciation.
Under SB 5307, veterans’ relevant military training would be considered toward satisfying licensing requirements in a variety of health professions such as 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.
"We greatly appreciate Senator Kilmer's leadership in helping service members and their families in Washington state," said Ed Kringer, DoD's Director of the State Liaison and Educational Opportunity Office. "The legislation he sponsored this year will go far in helping our separating military members who are seeking civilian employment to transfer their education and training experience from the military toward an array of high-demand career areas."
Another piece of legislation that became law last week, HB 1418, applies veterans’ relevant military experience toward licensing requirements in a variety of professions, including notaries public; on-site wastewater designers; private investigators; professional athletes; real estate brokers; salespersons and land development representatives; real estate appraisers; security guards; tattooing and body piercing licensees; timeshare salespersons; architects; auctioneers; bail bond agents and recovery agents; camping resort salespersons; cosmetologists; court reporters; driver training instructors; engineers; funeral directors and embalmers; geologists; home inspectors and landscape architects.
HB 1418, sponsored in the House by then-Rep. Christine Rolfes, was identical to companion legislation sponsored in the Senate by Kilmer. Conversely, Rolfes sponsored companion legislation in the House to Kilmer’s SB 5307. As the bills moved through their respective chambers, the lawmakers agreed to go with a single version of each bill, a common practice in the Legislature. Rolfes has since been appointed to fill the seat of Sen. Phil Rockefeller and is now a colleague of Kilmer’s in the Senate.