02.28.19

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Helps Introduce Bipartisan Legislation To Expand Work Opportunities for Student Veterans

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin helped introduce the bipartisan Hire Student Veterans Act, led by Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), to expand the existing Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) in ensuring that all student veterans using their GI Bill benefits can take advantage of valuable paid internships or part-time work opportunities while in school.

“America’s veterans have bravely served our nation and we have a shared responsibility to help them transition to a good paying job after completing their military service,” said Senator Baldwin. “This bipartisan legislation will expand opportunities for veterans working to finish their education and pursue new careers. It will also provide incentives for businesses to hire more student veterans so they can put their education and skills to work in a new job.”

“After talking to countless veterans and military families across Nevada, I decided to introduce bipartisan legislation to incentivize businesses to hire our student vets who are currently using their GI benefits to study,” said Senator Rosen. “I’ve met with organizations like Work for Warriors and UNLV Rebel Vets on how we can help veterans find good-paying jobs. I’m confident this commonsense legislation will put student vets on the pathway towards success and will continue working on bipartisan solutions to help our veterans transition back to civilian life.”

Currently, the WOTC is limited in its application to hiring veterans. Employers can only qualify for the credit by hiring veterans who have a service-connected disability or have been unemployed for more than four weeks. There is also a stringent 400-hour per year work requirement. As the law stands, the WOTC does not incentivize employers to hire student vets part-time during the school year or for a summer job and does not reflect the reality of today’s job environment in which new college graduates often need work experience in order to obtain even an entry-level career-track job.

The Hire Student Veterans Act seeks to make three important changes to the Work Opportunity Tax Credit that will incentivize businesses to hire more student veterans, ultimately helping to move their careers forward. The Hire Student Veterans Act will:

  • Automatically qualify employers who hire student veterans using their GI Bill benefits for WOTC’s 40% tax credit on the first $6,000 of a new employee’s first-year wages;
  • Reduce the existing tax credit’s 400-hour work requirement to 120 hours if a newly-hired employee is a veteran using their GI Bill benefits, allowing a student veteran to work part-time, including in a paid internship during the summer or semester; and
  • Directly incentivize employers to hire more student veterans for part-time work and paid internships.

The Hire Student Veterans Act is also cosponsored by Senators Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).