CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Tuesday, May 21, 2013, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 1412, the Improving Jobs Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2013,under a suspension of the rules. The bill was introduced on April 9, 2013 by Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) and referred to the Committee on Veterans Affairs, which held a mark-up and reported the bill by voice vote.
H.R. 1412 reduces the share on-the-job (OTJ) employers must pay of the full wage paid to veterans in on-the-job training programs from 85 percent to 75 percent for a four year period beginning one year after date of enactment. Section 3 directs the Secretary to enter into agreements with other Federal departments and agencies to establish OTJ training programs for veterans, and Section 4 extends the cap on non-service-connected pension payments for an additional two months by changing the sunset date from November 30, 2016 to December 31, 2016.
In 1967, Congress passed the Veterans’ Pension and Readjustment Assistance Act of 1967, which established a program for on-the-job and apprentice training programs for veterans. The law set a requirement that employers must eventually pay 85 percent of the full wage for each job, while the VA would cover the rest. This requirement has limited the number of on-the-job training positions available to veterans. According to the Committee on Veterans Affairs, “representatives from State Approving Agencies relayed to the Committee that employers were reluctant to offer OJT programs because of the final 85 percent training wage requirement and suggested that if the percentage was lowered more employers would offer OJT opportunities for veterans.”
H.R. 1412 expands the availability of these positions by lowering the percent required of employers to 75 percent for a four year period beginning one year after enactment. To pay for the increase in the Department’s share, the bill also extends the cap on non-service-connected pensions for one month.
CBO estimates that H.R. 1412 would, “decrease direct spending by $14 million over the 2014-2018 period and by $12 million over the 2014-2023 period. Because the bill would affect direct spending, pay-as-you-go procedures apply.”