Gov. Whitmer, state leaders introduce bills to help veterans
LANSING (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer alongside a group of Michigan leaders in Lansing introduced legislation to help veterans and their families secure work during a media conference. The legislation aims to remove barriers to professional licensing by allowing military families who have out-of-state licenses to be eligible for in-state licensure. Whitmer said Michigan leaders have a duty to ensure that veterans have the opportunity once they come home to Michigan to provide for their families.
“I want to thank all the brave men and women who put their lives on the line for others in the state,” Whitmer said. “Whether they have served overseas on behalf of our nation or across the country, or right here in Michigan, you’re working to ensure the safety of Michigan families everywhere.”
Fees associated with certain professional occupational licenses can already be waived for veterans. This legislation would extend waivers to health professions for military spouses and their children under age 26.
As long as military family members demonstrate competency for their out-of-state license without pending disciplinary action, the state licensing department can qualify them in-state.
Sen. Adam Hollier, a Detroit Democrat who is in the Army Reserves, said those often most affected in finding employment during military moves are family members. It is unacceptable that military family members have to retake examinations and face difficulty for the same license in multiple states.
“If you’re on active duty, you travel. You travel every couple years,” he said. “You got to make sure those you value most are taken care of. This is going to make Michigan a leader.”
The plans builds Michigan’s economy by welcoming a skilled workforce, said GOP Rep. Andrea Schroeder.
“By eliminating hurdles and red tape associated with transferring professional occupational licenses from one state to the other, health care professionals, skilled trades experts, real estate agents and many other professionals will be able to find work and resume their careers more quickly if this plan becomes law.”