Sen. Derek Kilmer

OLYMPIA – Legislation sponsored by Derek Kilmer (D-Gig Harbor) in the Senate and by House Rep. Christine Rolfes passed 46-0 that will eliminate unnecessary training for military veterans seeking civilian employment.

House Bill 1418, sponsored by Rolfes, would apply to: 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. Identical legislation was sponsored in the Senate by Kilmer, and as both bills advanced in their respective chambers Rolfes and Kilmer opted to go with Rolfes’ version. Conversely, both lawmakers sponsored companion bills that apply a similar process when military veterans seek employment and licensing in a range of private-sector health professions.

In that case, Kilmer and Rolfes went with Kilmer’s version, Senate Bill 5307. That measure passed both th e Senate and House and is scheduled to be signed into law by Gov. Christine Gregoire.

HB 1418 was amended in the Senate and must be reconciled in the House before it can go on to the governor. “This is pretty significant policy, for a couple of reasons,” Kilmer said of the package of bills. “First, returning veterans face a higher rate of unemployment. Second, this bill starts moving us toward a process that acknowledges experience rather than seat time. “These are folks who served their country and had our backs. It’s only fair that we have their backs when they return.” Under the earlier bill, SB 5307, veterans’ relevant military training would be considered toward satisfying licensing requirements in a variety of health professions: 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.

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