A key House panel has endorsed legislation that would create a new designation for colleges that that implement extra support measures for student veterans.

Under House Bill 485, colleges and universities will be able to apply annually to the state Board of Regents to receive the “Governor’s Veterans Friendly Campus Designation.”

Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David LaCerte said the move would encourage schools to help veterans transition into their new roles as students.

“It’s the right thing to do,” he told the House Education Committee on Tuesday.

To earn the VETS Campus designation, schools would have to create special orientation and recruitment programs tailored to veterans, as well as workshops, policies and other support services. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is backing the proposal.

Iowa and Tennessee each created veteran-friendly designation programs last year for colleges and universities.

Rep. Henry Burns, a Haughton Republican who is sponsoring the bill, said seeing such a designation could be encouraging to veterans who are thinking about college.

“That will cause some veterans to come forward,” he said. “I think this works as an encouragement out there.”

The legislation received overwhelming support and praise during the committee hearing. It now moves to the full House for approval.

Follow Elizabeth Crisp on Twitter @elizabethcrisp. For more coverage of Louisiana state government and politics, follow our Politics blog at http://blogs.theadvocate.com/politicsblog .