WASHINGTON–U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) joined a number of their Senate colleagues to introduce the Military Spouse Licensing Relief Act, bipartisan legislation that would give military spouses with valid professional licenses in one state reciprocity in the state where their spouse is currently serving on military orders.
The bill is sponsored by Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) and, in addition to Boozman and Cotton, is cosponsored by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), John Barrasso (R-WY), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Steve Daines (R-MT), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Mike Braun (R-IN), Rand Paul (R-KY), John Thune (R-SD), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), John Hoeven (R-ND), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Jim Risch (R-ID).
“Our servicemembers’ spouses make tremendous sacrifices in support of their loved ones’ service to our country, and we owe them a great debt. One way to convey our gratitude is to make their lives easier in simple, but meaningful ways. Our legislation seeks to cut red tape so military spouses can more seamlessly continue their careers after relocating to a new duty station,” Boozman said.
“Military families sacrifice so much for our country, yet military spouses face hurdles when seeking employment—especially after their families move from base to base. This bill will ensure spouses with professional licenses have reciprocity across state lines so they can pursue their careers uninterrupted,” said Cotton.
Military spouses who work in fields that require professional licenses are forced to spend great amounts of time and money to obtain licensure each time they move to a new state under military orders. Under this legislation, military spouses would qualify for licensure reciprocity if their license is in good standing and the spouse is in compliance with the state’s standards of practice, discipline and fulfillment of any continuing education requirements. As a state function, protected under the Tenth Amendment, the bill does not preempt states’ rightful authority to set their own licensing standards.
Rep. Mike Garcia (R-CA) has introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.