Schuitmaker legislation removing obstacles to employment for military spouses sent to governor

For Immediate Release:
May 27, 2014

Contact: Derek Sova      

LANSING, Mich.—The Michigan Legislature on Tuesday gave final approval to legislation sponsored by Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker that will make it easier for the spouses of active duty military members to obtain a professional license in Michigan. 

“Yesterday, we honored those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Today we are making Michigan a better place to live for our service men and women who made it home,” 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 state license by demonstrating that they hold a valid 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 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 spouse’s 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,” Schuitmaker said.

Senate Bills 741 and 742, which amend the Public Health Code and Occupational Code, respectively, have been sent to the governor for his signature.