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PIERRE | State senators gave final approval Tuesday to require state government, school boards, counties, cities and other local governments to interview armed forces veterans who meet the minimum qualifications for job openings.

The 32-1 vote sent the measure to Gov. Dennis Daugaard for his review.

The only nay received by the bill during the trip through two committees, as well as the full House and the Senate came from Sen. Craig Tieszen, R-Rapid City.

Tieszen said there are occasions when a veteran doesn’t have a realistic chance of getting a specific job such as for a school district superintendent, but now would be required to receive an interview.

Rep. Fred Deutsch, R-Florence, sponsored House Bill 1056.

During the debate Tuesday, Sen. Bill Van Gerpen, R-Tyndall, said servicemen and servicewomen aren’t looking for a preference.

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“The veterans are just seeking fairness in the competitive process for a position,” Van Gerpen said.

Sen. Brock Greenfield, R-Clark, shepherded the bill for Deutsch in the Senate, making clear the requirement doesn’t guarantee the veteran will receive the job but it does promise “a fair shake.”

“It’s one small acknowledgement of the selfless sacrifice so many people have engaged in. It would be a real shame if we couldn’t pass this bill as a small token of our gratitude,” Greenfield said.

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