Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman and Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney were among the legislators that appeared at a news conference on Thursday to show their support for a proposal that will provide businesses in the state financial incentives to hire unemployed veterans, according to the Associated Press.
The proposal, which would be an expansion of the "Step-Up for Veterans" program, seeks to fund employers with grants totaling up to six months of a veteran's salary and training costs. The grants will be limited to $12,000 per soldier. To qualify for the program, the combat veterans must be Connecticut residents and have served in Iraq or Afghanistan.
"Job creation remains our top legislative priority this year, and especially jobs for veterans, who have a much higher unemployment rate than the general population," state Sen. Carlo Leone, a Democrat representing Stamford in the 27thSenate District and Senate Chair of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, . "In Connecticut, 15.5 percent of post 9/11 veterans are unemployed. We must do better for those who fought for our freedom, and our proposed expansion of the STEP Up program will help many veterans to find work. They fought valiantly for our country, they should not have to fight for jobs back home."