JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) - Businesses could soon benefit from hiring former military members. Governor Phil Bryant signed a bill Tuesday that will help both businesses and unemployed vets.
Steve Meredith retired from the Navy 20 years ago. He's had seven different jobs since then.
"Finding a job, I found, wasn't that hard," described Meredith. "If you want a job you can find one. But the transition of finding a job you'll stay at is where you have the problem."
Still, Meredith thinks veterans have the qualities to be valuable employees.
"If you're hiring a vet, you're hiring a man or woman with discipline to be at work, to be at work on time, to do their job professionally to the best of their ability," noted Meredith. "So why wouldn't you hire a vet?"
House Bill 33 will provide tax credits to employers willing to hire honorably discharged vets who served on or after 9/11. It also specifies that they have been unemployed for at least six months.
"I look at more as a reward for something that Mississippi businesses are already doing," said Randy Reeves.
Reeves is the director of the Mississippi Veterans Affairs Board and a post 9/11 veteran. He's proud of the businesses willing to step up and hire vets.
"I found Mississippi when I returned a welcoming place," said Reeves. "It's the place that I remember. A place where people care about those who have served. A place where people honor those who have served. And for me this is just one more example."
The bill will take effect January 1, 2016. It will give a five-year tax credit of either ten percent of the hired veteran's salary or $2,000, whichever is lesser.