The Michigan House today approved legislation sponsored by state Rep. Joseph Graves that will help veterans return to work faster when returning to civilian life.

House Bill 5590 is part of a package of legislation that speeds up the licensing process in Michigan for veterans in 12 different occupations.

Rep. Graves' bill addresses licensing of private security guards, while other bills in the package include plumbers and electricians.

"Men and women serving in the military receive top notch training and that training and work should count when they return home and return to the civilian workforce," said Graves, R-Argentine Township. "We owe a great debt to those who served on our behalf and we cannot allow red tape and bureaucracy to hold veterans back from getting to work. I'm pleased that we've made progress to address this issue and I will not stop fighting for our veterans as the return to civilian life. I urge the Senate to move quickly on this important piece of legislation. ."

A June 2011 report by the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee showed that the unemployment rate among veterans in Michigan was significantly higher than the national average.

HB 5590 now heads to the Senate for consideration.

Listen to Representative Graves comments on the bill below: