Gov. Nikki Haley held a ceremonial signing Tuesday for a new state law that tries to help military families adjust when they move to South Carolina from another state and make the transition to civilian life.
The new law encourages public colleges to award veterans course credit for their military training.
Gov. Haley says it takes care of former soldiers. “When they come back, we will make sure that we have jobs available for them,” she told reporters shortly before signing the law. “A lot of that’s making sure that they get credits that they need in order for the military to be able to show that experience does mean something.”
Colleges in South Carolina would be required to come up with eligible courses and credits that could be covered by military experience. They would be effective at the start of the 2013-2014 school year under the new law.
The measure also provides a temporary, one-year occupational license (such as a nursing license) for a military spouse who already had that license in another state. The intention is to offer a free year for the spouse to do whatever is necessary to get a South Carolina version of that license.
State Sen. Thomas Alexander (R-Walhalla) says the change helps make South Carolina more appealing to the military amidst the very real possibility of base closures in the near future. The Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) could begin meeting again as soon as 2015.
“For this legislation to pass unanimously in both (the House and Senate), I think speaks to the patriotism, the understanding, and the support of our military,” Alexander said before the signing. “This legislation, I think, is long overdue.”
South Carolina is trying to position itself favorably with military families as it prepares for BRAC. For state officials, that means meeting 10 quality-of-life standards recommended by the U.S. Department of Defense initiative “USA 4 Military Families.” South Carolina has now acted on four of the recommendations.