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Hirono, Rounds Introduce Legislation to Improve Career Opportunities for Returning Veterans

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), members of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, today introduced the Veterans To Enhance Studies Through (TEST) Accessibility Act to help returning veterans transition into civilian life. Under current law, veterans are required to use a full month of their Post-9/11 GI Bill eligibility to be reimbursed for licensing, certification and national tests, such as those required to be an athletic trainer, fire fighter or medical technician. The TEST Accessibility Act would address this issue by reimbursing veterans for the cost of an approved test and pro-rating the affected month of eligibility to be used for future educational expenses, such as tuition.

“Last year over 6,000 Hawaii students pursued their educational goals through the Post-9/11 GI Bill and many want to enter high-demand science, technology, engineering, and math careers which often require paying for various tests, professional licenses, and other credentials,” Senator Hirono said. “As a cosponsor of the law creating the Post-9/11 GI Bill, I am proud to join Senator Rounds in introducing this commonsense bill to improve the way it reimburses these expenses for current and future generations of veterans and their families.”

“Our veterans have made incredible sacrifices for our country, and they should be able to fully use the benefits they’ve been promised when they enter into civilian life,” Senator Rounds said. “Our bill will make sure vets aren’t forced to exhaust a full month of GI bill benefits for a low-cost test or certification in order to pursue a successful career in a competitive job market. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee to advance this legislation.”

Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) and Susan Brooks (R-Ind.) earlier this year. It is supported by The American Legion and the Association of the United States Navy.