U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today joined with Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and other senators to introduce the Military Spouses Job Continuity Act, which would help military spouses re-enter the workforce by offering a tax credit to any military spouse who has to renew or transfer a professional license due to a military Change of Station order.
The legislation, introduced by Senator Casey, was co-sponsored by Senators Boxer, Patty Murray (D-WA), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Ted Kaufman (D-DE) and Roland Burris (D-IL).
Senator Boxer said, "This bill would ease one of many burdens our military families face by helping military spouses maintain stable careers during frequent moves. Our military spouses sacrifice alongside their service members and we need to support them in every way possible."
"In order to maintain a highly effective force, we not only have to take care of the men and women in uniform, but also their families who patriotically share the sacrifices of military service," said Senator Casey. "The Military Spouses Job Continuity Act will help ease the transition of relocation for families and allow military spouses to more easily re-enter the workforce."
"Our military spouses deserve not only the thanks of a grateful nation, but all of the help and benefits we can provide. This legislation is a common sense step to reduce the costs associated with the red tape our military spouses confront as they move and work to further their careers," said Senator Murray.
"This bill is a common sense step to help lessen the burden of relocation on military families," said Senator Nelson. "By making it easier for military spouses to continue their professional work in another state, we're easing the limits that frequent relocation can place on the families that support our men and women in uniform."
"Military spouses are forced to move frequently in support of their spouse serving in uniform, and the cost of new professional certifications is just one of the many expenses involved," Senator McCaskill said. "I'm pleased to support legislation that helps make it easier for military spouses, more and more of whom are highly educated and who pursue independent careers, to maintain their professional credentials and support their families in this economy."
"With every change of station, the families of our men and women in uniform are asked to make many sacrifices--including in their professional lives," said Senator Kaufman. "The tax credit established by the Military Spouse Job Continuity Act is one way we can help ease their transition process and recognize the sacrifices military spouses make in their service to our nation."
More than 1.1 million active duty service members in the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy received Change of Station orders from 2008 to 2009. With such frequent moves, most military spouses are limited in their career paths, especially when they must renew their professional licenses and certifications in every new state.
The Military Spouses Job Continuity Act reduces this burden on military spouses after relocation across state lines by providing a tax credit of up to $500. The credit would be applicable for the renewal or transfer of a professional license in a range of fields including child care, nursing and health services, all fields in which military spouses often work.
The National Military Family Association has endorsed the Military Spouses Job Continuity Act.