Minnesota businesses that hire unemployed veterans would get a tax credit under legislation unveiled Monday.
The legislation has bipartisan support and is a recognition that Minnesota has some of the highest unemployment rates among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans in the country.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Anna Wills, R-Apple Valley, and Sen. Chuck Wiger, DFL-Maplewood, would give tax credits to employers who hire any veteran, but it particularly benefits companies hiring disabled and unemployed veterans. Under the bill, a company would receive a credit for up to 10 percent of the veteran's taxed income, capped at $3,000 for a disabled veteran, $1,500 for hiring an unemployed veteran, and $500 for hiring any veteran.
The bill has strong support from a number of veterans and veterans' advocacy groups, many of which were represented at a Capitol press conference unveiling the legislation. Among the groups represented were the Military Action Group, the United Veterans Legislative Council, the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans, and the Association of the United States Army.
Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, who has worked with a number of organizations on veteran hiring issues, also supported the measure, saying it "is win-win for both companies and veterans and ultimately benefits our entire state."
There is no estimate at this point on how much the credits could cost.