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Kirk Wants Easier Firefighter Hiring for Illinois Veterans

Kirk Wants Easier Firefighter Hiring for Illinois Veterans

Illinois lawmakers have asked Gov. Pat Quinn to make the firefighter certification process easier for the state’s military members.

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk and other lawmakers urged the Chicago Democrat to let military members and veterans with firefighter training to forego the state’s certification process. Current rules require those with military certifications to take written tests and practical exams.

According to Kirk’s office, at least 38 states nationwide offer this trade off — including Iowa, Missouri and Indiana.

The Republican senator says the measure would allow military members to make smooth transition into civilian life. He says the state’s current rules are “outdated.”

A Quinn spokesman said Friday the governor in 2013 created a task force that’s reviewing licenses and determining how to grant reciprocity to military firefighters.

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FILE - In this Nov. 3, 2002 file photo, Illinois state Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka participates in a Republican campaign rally in Springfield, Ill. Topinka, who won a second term for state comptroller in November 2014, died early Wednesday morning, Dec. 10, 2014, less than 24 hours after having a stroke, according to her office. She was 70. Topinka previously served three terms as Illinois state treasurer, was a former Illinois GOP chairwoman and ran for governor in 2006.

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