(1) The department shall provide a method by which honorably discharged veterans may apply for licensure. The method must include a veteran-specific application and provide:
(a) To the fullest extent possible, credit toward the requirements for licensure for military experience, training, and education received and completed during service in the United States Armed Forces if the military experience, training, or education is substantially similar to the experience, training, or education required for licensure.
(b) Acceptance of up to 3 years of active duty service in the United States Armed Forces, regardless of duty or training, to meet the experience requirements of s. 489.111(2)(c). At least 1 additional year of active experience as a foreman in the trade, either civilian or military, is required to fulfill the experience requirement of s. 489.111(2)(c).
The board may adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement this subsection.
(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, beginning October 1, 2017, and annually thereafter, the department, in conjunction with the board, is directed to prepare and submit a report titled “Construction and Electrical Contracting Veteran Applicant Statistics” to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The report must include statistics and information relating to this section and s. 489.5161 which detail:
(a) The number of applicants who identified themselves as veterans.
(b) The number of veterans whose application for a license was approved.
(c) The number of veterans whose application for a license was denied, including the reasons for denial.
(d) Data on the application processing times for veterans.
(e) Recommendations on ways to improve the department’s ability to meet the needs of veterans which would effectively address the challenges that veterans face when separating from military service and seeking a license regulated by the department pursuant to this part.