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Military spouses may soon see reciprocity of state licenses



TOPEKA, Kan. – Military spouses could soon see their professional licenses from one state observed in another state where their spouse is serving on military orders.

Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) says he joined Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and 21 other senators to introduce the Military Spouse Licensing Relief Act, bipartisan legislation that would give military spouses with professional licenses in one state reciprocity in a state where their spouse is currently serving on military orders.

“A servicemember’s oath to protect and defend our nation impacts their families as well, and military spouses often have to spend thousands of dollars obtaining new professional licenses every time their spouse receives orders to move to a new state,” said Sen. Moran. “This legislation would ensure military spouses with professional licenses are able to utilize their credentials in each new state their spouse is stationed without going through the costly and time-consuming process of obtaining a new license.”

“Faced with a 50-state patchwork of licensing laws, military spouses are forced to spend thousands of dollars and hours to obtain licensure every time they move to a new state under military orders,” said Sen. Lee. “This bill will help lift that unjust burden on our military families – who sacrifice so much to protect our nation – by ensuring that spouses can receive the licensing reciprocity they need across state lines.”

According to Moran, the bill is co-sponsored by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wy.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Roger Wicker (R-Miss), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), and Jim Risch (R-Idaho).

Sen. Moran said Rep. Mike Garcia (R-Calif.) has introduced the companion legislation in the House.

According to Moran, in order to get reciprocity, the professional license is required to be in good standing and the spouse must still comply with the state’s standards of practice, discipline and continuing education requirements. As a state function, which is protected under the 10th Amendment, he said the bill does not preempt the states’ rightful authority to set their own licensing standards.