Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, joined by First Lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin and military spouses, today signed Executive Order 4-13 and announced the establishment the Governor's Commission on Military Spousal Licensure. Gov. Tomblin noted military families move across state lines more often than civilians, which presents licensing challenges to military spouses whose professions require certain state licenses or certificates.
"Although the State of West Virginia maintains licensing and certification requirements to ensure the safety of our citizens, the lack of licensing reciprocity and transferability between states can create an unfair barrier to military spouses' in pursuit of their career goals," Gov. Tomblin said. "It is my hope, through the Commission, we will discover new and innovative ways for our state to better assist military families moving to West Virginia with professional licensure and certification requirements--providing commonsense, efficient government services to those who have given so much of themselves for our state and nation."
"Due to the volunteer nature of our military, the sacrifices these families make for our state and country and the fact that they help us to maintain the readiness of our military, we must make it our duty to do everything in our power to ensure that military spouses are supported in every way possible," First Lady Tomblin added. "It is my hope that the Commission on Military Spousal Licensure will help us to continue to serve those who serve us."
The eleven-member commission will be chaired by First Lady Tomblin and be comprised of two representatives from the governor's office, the Adjutant General of West Virginia or his designee, and seven citizen members, appointed by the governor, to include: three military spouses working in a profession that requires a license or certificate as well as four individuals representing a profession that requires a license or certificate in the State of West Virginia.
The commission will evaluate potential best practices to facilitate license reciprocity and portability for military spouses, including licensure by endorsement, temporary or provisional licensing, and expedited application processes. The commission will submit their recommendations, including potential legislation, by Dec. 15, 2013.