Olympia – Returning to civilian life from combat zones and military service can be a difficult challenge. Thanks to recently passed legislation, our veterans will have extra support when adjusting to life back home.

The Veterans Innovation Program (VIP) was created in 2006 to provide returning veterans small loans, jobs training and employment assistance. HB 2130 strengthens the program by combining two separate accounts within the program, simplifying the loan process and creating new outreach capabilities. The bill also ensures that returning veterans are aware of the program and the services it provides. In addition, the bill is expanded to include National Guard members.

“The Veterans Innovation Program is critically important to our men and women who are returning from active duty,” said Sen. Steve Conway, D- South Tacoma, who sponsored the Senate companion bill. “The small loans the program provides assists our veterans with small needs like purchasing tools or getting a new suit, things that will help them find a job.”

Conway went on to note that in addition to providing small loans, VIP also assists veterans in utilizing programs that will help them find housing assistance.

VIP was originally supposed to sunset in two years, but the bill was amended to make the program permanent and capable of assisting retiring servicemembers for years to come.