March 1, 2012
(Denver) –Republicans put party politics over good policy again today when they voted to kill a bill in the State, Veterans & Military Affairs committee that would have connected Colorado veterans to jobs.
Rep. Joe Miklosi’s bill would have allowed veterans to check a box allowing the Department of Labor to share contact information with workforce placement organizations.
HB12-1259, sponsored by Rep. Miklosi (D-Denver), would have given people an option to waive confidentiality of some personal information the Department of Labor collects and allows the department to share that information with job training and placement organizations. There are over 200 organizations in Colorado alone dedicated to finding veterans jobs, but these organizations have run into obstacles when trying to find these veterans. This bill would have helped connect these organizations with veterans in search of work.
It is estimated there are currently over 49,000 unemployed veterans in the state of Colorado, and veterans have a higher unemployment rate than the state or national average. Representatives from the United Veterans Committee of Colorado and the Veterans Green Jobs Organization testified in strong support of the bill. There was no opposition.
Rep. Miklosi, who is running for Congress in District Six, said he was disappointed that a common-sense bill to help get veterans back to work failed on a party-line vote.
“This bill is about empowering the veterans and people of our state to find work,” Rep. Miklosi said. “We should be doing everything in our power to help those who have served us reintegrate back into the work force. This is another innovative and creative way to assist this process. This bill would have helped veterans cut through red tape and really helped them get back to work.”