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Buck-Taylor: CT is stepping up for its veterans

July 24, 2013

Our great state of Connecticut has taken a big step forward for Veterans and their employment opportunities following military service.

On Thursday, I joined my fellow legislators in celebrating the signing of a bill that will expand the Subsidized Training and Employment Program (STEP UP) to all veterans of the armed services – providing our heroes with training and education services as they assimilate back into civilian life here in Connecticut with their families.

The law, Public Act No. 13-63, An Act Concerning the Definition of New Employee in the Unemployed Armed Forces Member Subsidized Training and Employment Program, received vast bipartisan support as it worked its way through the legislative process as a bill.  As a co-sponsor of the bill, I’m delighted to see all of our hard work pay off and provide this benefit to those who ensure our country remains free.

Previously, the law only allowed post-September 11, 2001 veterans who served in “combat zones” to take advantage of the STEP UP program, incorporating a very small pool of individuals.  This new law expands and redefines the qualifications, allowing every veteran – whether they served before or after Sept. 11 – to gain the training they might need to assimilate back into civilian life.

The Connecticut Department of Labor provided services to over 7,600 veterans in 2012, according to the department’s commissioner.  They expect another 7,000 veterans leaving military service in need of their programs.  This is just another small step to recognizing and honoring our service personnel