Politics & Government

Bill to allow preferential hiring for veterans passes House, Senate

A bill that will enable private employers to show a preference for hiring military veterans will head to the governor’s desk after being passed by both the Kansas House and Senate this week.

HB 2154 enables employers to adopt a formal policy to show a hiring preference to veterans who meet job requirements over other candidates. The bill requires that employers apply that policy consistently and that the veteran provide proof of military service.

Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act gives states the option to extend this power to employers. Twelve states have similar laws on the books.

The Kansas House passed the measure by a vote of 121-0 Thursday. The Senate passed the bill by a vote of 38-0 the previous day.

The unemployment rate for veterans under the age of 25 is 21.4 percent, which 7 percentage points higher than the rate for nonveterans of that same age, according to 2013 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Reach Bryan Lowry at 785-296-3006 or blowry@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @BryanLowry3.