State needs to make jobs for veterans a priority

Published: Friday, Nov. 8, 2013 - 8:11 am

Re "California is failing its jobless veterans" (Editorials, Nov. 7): Unfortunately nothing will improve in the veteran employment arena until California makes veterans a public policy priority. The usual pandering as politicians wrap themselves in the flag on Veterans Day is insufficient. What is needed is legislation that addresses the issue. I offer two ideas that can have quick results.

Provide employers with an incentive to hire veterans by providing tax credit to hire and retain wartime veterans similar to federal tax incentives.

State government should take the lead and propose legislation to provide broad-base preferences for hiring veterans into civil service. Current preferences only relate to the examination process; they do nothing to assist veterans in actually getting a civil service job.

I applaud recent efforts by Assembly Speaker John A. Perez to move forward on veteran issues; now it’s time for the governor to also show some leadership and join the battle. It’s time for decisive action.

-- John R. Kirwan Jr, Elk Grove

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