FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA TO JOIN ILLINOIS GOVERNOR PAT QUINN AT BILL SIGNING SUPPORTING MILITARY SPOUSES
Legislation removes hurdles for military spouses so they can transfer their state licenses or occupational certifications more easily as they move from state to state
On June 26th, First Lady Michelle Obama will join Illinois Governor Pat Quinn at the Illinois National Guard Armory in Chicago as he signs into law the “Military Family Licensing Act,” which will help military spouses and veterans transfer their professional licenses to Illinois more easily. Through her travels across the country, Mrs. Obama has consistently heard from military spouses and active duty service members about the difficulty they have in transferring their occupational licenses from one state to the other and how it negatively impacts their ability to sustain a professional career. Among the nearly 50 professions impacted by state licensure requirements are teachers, nurses, speech pathologists, dental hygienists, physical therapists, counselors, marriage and family therapists, occupational therapists, social workers, physician assistants, emergency medical technicians and dieticians.
As part of her Joining Forces initiative to honor, recognize and support military families, First Lady Michelle Obama has advocated for the 100,000 military spouses who serve in professions that require state licenses or certification and have to bear high financial burdens to transfer their credentials from state to state as they serve this country. In February, the First Lady and Dr. Jill Biden asked the country’s governors and spouses to improve job portability for military spouses in their states. At the time the First Lady and Dr. Biden addressed the Governors, only 11 states had legislation. Now less than four months later, Illinois will be become the 23rd state to adopt pro-military spouse license portability legislation. An additional 7 states have pending legislation.
Illinois is the home to three major military bases – Naval Station Great Lakes, the Navy’s single-site “bootcamp” for training new recruits; Scott Air Force Base, the headquarters for the U.S. Transportation Command, and Rock Island Arsenal, a major weapons manufacturing facility in the U.S.
The Illinois legislation will help licensed military spouses moving to these bases, as well as other locations throughout Illinois, to more quickly and efficiently join the work force.
The bill signing will take place on Tuesday, June 26th at 2:15 PM CT at the Donnelly Building (Illinois National Guard Armory) in Chicago. Media interested in covering this event can RSVP to Brooke Anderson, Press Secretary to Governor Pat Quinn at Brooke.Anderson@Illinois.gov.