Kings County County Assembly's Rudy Salas applauds bill expanding job opportunities for military spouses

By The Leader Staff
Rudy Salas applauds legislation to expand job opportunities for military spouses.
Rudy Salas applauds legislation to expand job opportunities for military spouses.

Local Assemblyman Rudy Salas applauded the advancement of AB 107, which passed unanimously with bipartisan support. The legislation will expedite the process of relicensing certain jobs for military spouses and expand the job opportunities that military spouses qualify for while easing the burdens placed on families serving our nation.

“We must do more for military spouses, who are six times more likely to be unemployed, find a job so that they can put food on the table,” said Salas. “Transferring professional licenses that spouses have earned should be a seamless process to ensure our military families can thrive in California.”

California is home to over 62,000 military spouses, including many from Naval Air Station Lemoore, one of the U.S. Navy’s largest bases. These families are at a unique disadvantage when it comes to finding employment because they are frequently moving. In fact, the annual percentage of the military spouse population that moves to different states is 14.5 percent – compared to 1.1 percent for civilian spouses.

Approximately 35 percent of military spouses work in a profession requiring a license to be employed. Although a spouse may be licensed for a job in one state, when they move to California, the process of transferring a license or applying for a new license can be burdensome and take an unnecessarily long amount of time before a license is ultimately issued.

“Military spouses are disproportionately affected by varying state-specific licensure requirements that can cause delays and gaps in employment, with over 34 percent of the working population requiring state licensure to practice in their professions,” states Kelli May Douglas, Pacific Southwest Regional Liaison for the

Defense-State Liaison Office. “The Department is very appreciative of California’s ongoing commitment and efforts to support our military service members and their families.”

Jobs such as accountants, auditors, and dental assistants rank among the top occupations for military spouses, yet these licenses are not currently included in California's expedited licensing program. AB 107 would address this issue by adding these professions and others to the licensing program to enable military spouses to gain employment in many important California jobs more quickly.

AB 107 will now head to the Assembly Military and Veterans Committee.

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