U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) recently reintroduced the Military Spouses Job Continuity Act, legislation that would help military spouses more easily 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 bill is endorsed by the National Military Family Association, Blue Star Families of America, National Guard Association of the United States and the Reserve Officers Association.
"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."
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 the frequency of Change of Station orders, most military spouses are already limited to career paths that allow them to follow their spouse. This legislation decreases this barrier for military spouses after relocation and helps them more easily re-enter the workforce by providing a tax credit of up to $500 when a military family moves across state lines.
The tax 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 of which are common occupations of military spouses.
Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA) are cosponsors of the legislation.
The following are statements of support for Senator Casey's Military Spouses Job Continuity Act:
The National Military Family Association: "We appreciate your leadership by introducing the Military Spouse Job Continuity Act. Our Association was pleased to work with your office to draft this important legislation for military families.
Military spouses are financially disadvantaged by government ordered moves and your legislation helps offset the expense to obtain a new license or credential when a military family is relocated to a new duty station. Often a military spouse must obtain a new license in the new state before they can begin to work, which puts an additional strain on the family finances. Your legislation will greatly reduce the financial burden military spouses' face when they move from state-to-state."
National Guard Association of the United States: "NGAUS strongly supports the Military Spouse Job Continuity Act which will go a long way in easing the ongoing career disruptions experienced by our military spouses whose indispensable support of the military and our country must never go unrecognized. They also serve."
Blue Star Families: "Military spouses are proud to support their service member and their country, but constant moves take an unfair toll on our careers, and our ability to help support our families. Serving the country is sometimes too expensive of a proposition - this legislation helps to mitigate that cost. We believe a strong military is based on strong military families, and family strength includes putting military spouses in a place where they can maintain their worklife.
Page 2 of 2 - The Military Spouse Continuity Job Act is exactly the kind of legislation we need to support military spouses and their families."