WASHINGTON (September 17,2020)— The R Street Institute applauds the introduction of the Military Spouse Licensing Relief Act by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT). This bill would amend the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) of 2003 to require states to recognize servicemembers’ spouses’ occupational license from another state if the servicemember and the servicemember’s spouse move across state lines on account of a permanent change of station order.

R Street has been fighting for occupational licensing reform at the state and federal level for years. We are proud to have worked with Sen. Lee’s office on this groundbreaking legislation that will improve the lives of military families. Military families move every two to three years which makes it extremely difficult for military spouses to find and keep work. Further, 50 percent of military spouses require occupational licenses in their line of work. The Military Spouses Licensing Relief Act will better serve our heroes and their families as well as their local economy and community.

“It’s widely known that burdens on military spouses’ job prospects—such as occupational licensing barriers that sideline them from the workforce—can impact reenlistment decisions for service members,” said Jarrett Dieterle, R Street Director of Commercial Freedom. “Given Congress’s core Article I powers to provide for the national defense, it is appropriate and smart for it to take steps to ease licensing burdens for military families.”

“I appreciate Sen. Lee’s constant emphasis on occupational licensing reform,” said Shoshana Weissmann, R Street Resident Fellow of Commercial Freedom and Digital Media Manager. “Military spouses shouldn’t have to constantly jump through duplicative hoops just to be allowed to work. Helping to clear these burdens for families who serve our country in a narrow way like this, while allowing states to lead on broader reforms, is just the right approach.”

R Street previously collaborated on the Portable Certification of Spouses Act with Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Tom Cotton (R-AK) and we look forward to continuing legislative work on this issue.

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