Private businesses could soon give preference to hiring Alaska veterans

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The Alaska Legislature has passed a bill that gives private businesses in Alaska the ability to offer a hiring preference to veterans and members of the National Guard.

Before the bill passed, public employers could offer a hiring preference but that could not extend to private businesses.

Rep. Chris Tuck, D - Anchorage, sponsored that legislation that passed through the house in March of 2017. Tuck told Channel 2 that veterans were ideal hires as they had learned leadership and teamwork while serving.

Importantly though, Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, R - Anchorage, said as this applies to private employers, it is only optional. She expected that it would make a big difference to estimated 2,000 Alaska service members who re-enter civilian life every year.

According to the House Majority, Alaska will become the 38th state that allows private businesses to offer a hiring preference to veterans.

The bill passed unanimously through the House before also passing unanimously through the Senate Saturday evening. House Bill 2 will now head to the Governor's desk for his signature.