The spouses of members of the armed services who have professional expertise would be better able to go to work in Washington under a bill sponsored by Sen. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor.
Kilmer's Senate Bill 5969 would speed up professional licensing for military spouses. It's intended to support the estimated 43,000 spouses of active and reserve military members in Washington, many of whom are licensed professionals in their home states. It is moving through the Legislature during the current special session, and was heard in committee Dec. 13.
You can hear Kilmer explain his proposal in this video:
Under the bill, Washington would expedite professional licensing for military spouses who meet certain criteria. Spouses must: 1) be licensed in a profession in another state; 2) have a spouse who has been transferred to Washington by the military; and 3) have left a job in another state to accompany their spouse. The requirements of the original licensing state and Washington must be substantially similar.
Agencies also will be able to issue temporary licenses to qualifying military spouses, giving these professionals time to complete Washington requirements while working.
“This is a real opportunity for Washington. Three-quarters of all military spouses want to work to support their families, and a full third of them are in licensed professions,” said Kilmer. “The Department of Defense has made this a priority issue because it impacts the ability of our military families to stay in the service. This is a great way for us to step up and help those who serve us.”