The following is a statement from Jason Grumet, president of the Bipartisan Policy Center, on new bipartisan, bicameral legislation introduced to ease pathways to employment for spouses of active duty military:
“The Bipartisan Policy Center applauds the work of Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Reps. Jim Banks (R-IN) and Susan Davis (D-CA) to support military families through the Portable Certification of Spouses Act. For the last ten years, active duty military spouses have been unemployed at rates far exceeding the national average. Frequent relocations, coupled with legal obstacles to employment in the form of local certifications and occupational licensing, are creating insurmountable barriers for many military spouses to enter the workforce.
“BPC’s Task Force on Defense Personnel found that the inability of military spouses to secure employment when a change of assignment occurs is one of the main reasons that servicemembers leave the military, which hampers the readiness of our military and the security of our country. Our report recommended several ways to increase military spousal employment, including reciprocity for professional licenses across state lines. The legislation proposed by Cotton, Shaheen, Banks, and Davis will improve the portability of occupational licenses from state to state for military spouses. I look forward to this legislation becoming law.”