Today, the Columbus Dispatch is reporting that Governor Kasich is going to issue an executive order “directing all state-run boards, commissions and departments issuing occupational licenses to take into account a veteran’s military education, skills training and service time when determining equivalency for licensing requirements.” Which sounds nice, until you realize that practically, it’s totally meaningless. It’s a typical “I love kittens and puppies” resolution that politicians do when they want to look like they’re doing something for veterans, without, you know, doing something to help veterans around election season. The executive order doesn’t even add veterans’ experience to what is considered for professional licensure in Ohio. Instead, all the order effectively does is for such licensure boards to report to another board Kasich has created what federal and state laws serve as barriers to counting veterans’ experiences by the end of the year. It does nothing to actually remove such barriers.
Meaningless orders such as these are also what a politician does to try to rehabilitate their record with a politically popular segment of society, like veterans, before campaign season. But John Kasich’s actual record on veterans as Governor would be shameful, if our Governor had the ability to be shamed.
In his first budget, Governor Kasich proposed weakening the preference given to veterans to the point of nearly scrapping altogether the preference given to veterans under Ohio’s civil service laws. In fact, Governor Kasich’s proposal would have changed the law so that if a veteran score tied with a non-veteran, then the job would simply go to whomever filed their application first, instead of giving the preference to the veteran as Ohio law had required. Fortunately, the State Senate scrapped Kasich’s proposal before his budget became law.
Kasich’s first budget sought to cut and then freeze at that reduced level of funding the State’s support of veteran organizations such as AMVETS, the American Legion, Vietnam Veterans of America, the Military Order of the Purple Heart, and other organizations (See, pg. 736 of the attachment). Shocked at this, the House Republicans not only rejected Kasich’s cut, they increased State funding for these groups.
Kasich’s second budget (you know the one that didn’t even survive a House committee controlled by Republicans) froze the funding for the same groups (pg. 719) while seeking to change Ohio law so Kasich could give his political staffers 30% raises. After experiencing the horrors of Afghanistan and Iraq, we owe it to those brave men and women of Ohio who did their jobs over there that they’ll have a job here. But John Kasich’s record on veterans shows he’s no friend to them, and no meaningless Executive Order is going to change that record.