Bill will help expedite professional licenses for military spouses

The state Legislature passed a bill in the just completed special session to speed up professional licensing for spouses of military members transferred to Washington.

The bill, SB5969, expedites licensing of military spouses who have recently moved here from another state. The bill applies to a multitude of professions, helping workers in careers ranging from massage therapy to nursing and teaching become licensed by the state.

Once approved by the governor, it will also offer spouses easier access to temporary licenses as they complete in-state licensing requirements.

Sen. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, sponsored the bill after meeting with a soldier who said her husband had a difficult time getting licensed for his profession when they moved to Washington.

"I think this is the right thing to do for families who are really sacrificing on behalf of our country," Kilmer said in a statement. "I think it's the right thing to do for our economy, so more folks can support their families and draw a paycheck rather than unemployment."

According to information provided by the Department of Defense, of the 43,000 spouses of servicemen and women living in the state, a third of them work in jobs that require a professional license.

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