Schuitmaker introduces legislation to remove obstacles to employment for military spouses

For Immediate Release
Jan. 22, 2014

Contact: Derek Sova

LANSING, Mich.—Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker introduced legislation Wednesday that will make it easier for the spouses of active duty military members to obtain a professional license in Michigan. 

“Military families have already sacrificed so much in defense of our country,” said Schuitmaker, R-Lawton. “We owe them a great deal and I am committed to making their adjustment to life in Michigan easier.”

The legislation will allow military spouses to obtain a temporary professional state license by demonstrating that they hold a valid professional license issued by another state and that they have been assigned to Michigan by the military.

“I'm proud of all that we have already accomplished for our military members and veterans,” Schuitmaker added. “This legislation goes one step further and recognizes the value a military spouse’s experience and education can bring to Michigan.”

Obtaining a new professional license is often time-consuming and costly, and many spouses make the difficult decision to stop working in their profession rather than navigate a different bureaucracy every time they receive an interstate transfer.

According to the organization USA 4 Military Families, more than two-thirds of service members indicated that their spouses’ ability to obtain employment is a significant consideration when deciding whether to continue their service.  

“These families should not be forced to decide between one spouse serving in the armed forces and one spouse pursuing their civilian career,” said Schuitmaker.

Senate Bills 741 and 742, which amend the Public Health Code and Occupational Code, respectively, have been referred to the Senate Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs and Homeland Security.