McCoy’s measures salute veterans and military families

Armed-forces training, experience recognized in legislation sent over to Senate

Clint Robbins, Legislative News, March 13, 2013

OLYMPIA — Here’s a definitive “no-brainer” we can all recognize: Men and women who have come out of the Armed Forces honorably should certainly receive respect and recognition for their service when they are pursuing a college education or professional licensing.

The House of Representatives today passed House Bill 1858 and House Bill 1859, sponsored by state Rep. John McCoy, to write this recognition into state policy.

“Colleges and universities should have a policy in place by December 31, 2014, to recognize and award academic credit for military-training courses or programs,” McCoy said of his HB 1858. “The policy must be submitted to the Prior Learning Assessment work group for evaluation. Schools must provide a copy of their policy to award academic credit for military training to enrolled students who have listed prior or present military service in their application.”

McCoy’s HB 1859 directs that military training and experience should satisfy requirements for professional licensing if the training or experience is documented and substantially equivalent to the requirements in state law.

“The Department of Defense is thrilled with the House passage of HB 1858,” said Mark B. San Souci, Northwest Regional State Liaison, Defense State Liaison Office, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Military Community and Family Policy.

“There has been good progress with the Washington State Prior Learning Assessment Group established in 2010 legislation,” San Souci added. “Passage of this measure continues that progress by requiring our college and universities to develop policies to provide earned academic credit for our new veterans when we have already paid for their training with our hard-earned federal-tax dollars. We are extremely grateful for Representative McCoy’s proactive approach to this issue to aid our new veterans and American heroes.”

“The Department of Defense is also thrilled with the passage of HB 1859 because it complements House Bill 1858 which has also already passed the House,” San Souci said. “This second bill leverages what Washington state regulatory agencies and boards are working hard to make possible — specifically, that newly separated military members should receive occupational-license credit, where deserved, for their military education and training. After all, this previous education and training has already been paid for by people’s federal tax dollars. If passed in the Senate and signed by the governor, Representative McCoy’s efforts on this issue and other, similar matters will greatly help our new veterans reach their academic goals — and then secure rewarding employment. We are extremely grateful for Representative McCoy’s proactive approach to this issue to make sure there are reasonable programs and policies for our new veterans and American heroes.”