Tester stepping forward to help military families
Senator’s bipartisan bill makes it easier for spouses to work, eases strain of re-location
(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester is co-sponsoring legislation that will make it easier for military families to handle the challenges of frequent re-location.
Every year more than one million service members receive orders to ‘change stations’ – an order that usually requires a service member and their family to cross state lines. As a result, military spouses often put their careers on hold while they meet a new state’s licensing or certification requirements.
Tester’s bipartisan bill will offer a tax credit to any military spouse who needs to renew or transfer a professional license due to a government-ordered move to a new state. Nearly 35 percent of military spouses in the labor force work in professions that require licenses or certifications.
Tester says that his bill, in addition to helping spouses get back to work and deal with the stress of moving, will increase the number of service members who choose to re-enlist in the military.
“Serving our nation is a decision that involves entire families, and we need to make sure we support everyone affected by a career in the military,” Tester said. “This bill will support military spouses as they adjust to their new surroundings and make staying in the military an easier choice for American families who already sacrifice so much.”
According to a recent study, nearly 70 percent of married service members reported their decision to re-enlist was affected by their spouses’ career prospects.
Tester’s bill is supported by the Military Officers Association of America and the National Military Family Association, who said the measure will “help military spouses enter the workforce quickly and contribute to local economies.”
The measure’s $500 tax credit would only apply to administrative fees paid to licensing boards or certificate granting institutions, such as cosmetology licenses and speech pathologist certifications.