Committee Recommends Creation of Voluntary Veterans Preference Hiring Program in Private Sector

Following in the footsteps of 27 other states, Pennsylvania took the first step today in allowing private sector companies to create their own Veterans Preference hiring programs, as Senate Bill 1013 was unanimously recommended by the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, chaired by Senator Randy Vulakovich.

“Veterans, particularly disabled veterans, have a higher percent unemployment rate, than the rest of society,” stated Sen. Vulakovich, who cosponsored the legislation with Sen. Vince Hughes. “We all owe a debt of gratitude to those veterans who served the nation and they should certainly be aided because military service has disrupted their normal life and employment. Hopefully when this bill becomes law, many business will take up their own policies.”

On Wednesday, the Committee also reported four other bills, three of which would aid veterans in Pennsylvania – and the other would assist first responders.

Senate Bill 1047, introduced by Senator Vulakovich, would allow state Veterans Homes to retain vending machine proceeds.

“This legislation simply allows our six state Veterans Homes to retain proceeds from their vending machines and ultimately benefit and provide more services to Homes’ elderly veterans – many of whom are disabled,” said Sen. Vulakovich.

Senate Bill 1067, introduced by Senator John Yudichak, extends the eligibility period for the Amputee and Paralyzed Veteran’s Pension Program.

House Bill 49, introduced by Representative Chris Sainato, would extend the $100,000 death benefit that is currently available to other emergency responders to members of the Pennsylvania Civil Air Patrol.

House Bill 602, introduced by Representative Stephen Barrar, would increase the active duty pay for National Guard personnel from $75 to $100 per day. The National Guard base pay was last increased in 1996, from $45 to the current rate of $75 per day.

“Since this issue hasn’t been reviewed in nearly 20 years, this increase is long overdue,” Senator Vulakovich said. “We as a Commonwealth are thankful for the efforts of our National Guardsmen and women during emergency situations and it is fitting that we demonstrate our appreciation by approving this modest pay increase in recognition of their service.”

The five measures approved by the committee today now go to the full Senate for consideration.

Contact:        Nate Silcox     (717) 787-6538     nsilcox@pasen.gov