The Minnesota Legislature has approved a bill that would allow employers to set a hiring preference for veterans and some of their spouses-and the bill is now awaiting final review by Governor Mark Dayton.
The House approved the bill Monday, and the Senate passed it last month. Both votes were unanimous.
The bill would allow employers in the private sector to express a hiring preference for all veterans and for the spouses of veterans who have died or who have a service-related disability.
House bill sponsor and veteran John Kriesel, a Republican from Cottage Grove, told the Pioneer Press that veterans are experiencing an "astronomical unemployment rate," and added, "We need to give them every tool possible to get them a job."
Although Dayton hasn't yet indicated his position on the bill, Kriesel told the St. Paul newspaper that he expects the governor to sign it.
Roughly 2,700 troops are expected to return to Minnesota in the coming weeks, and about 20 percent of them will be looking for jobs upon their return, according to the Pioneer Press, which cited data from the Minnesota Department of Military Affairs and the Minnesota National Guard.
State legislators have considered several bills this session that would boost jobs for veterans.