COLUMBUS – Legislation to cut government red tape and help military families has been approved by the Ohio House of Representatives.

State Representative Rick Perales (R-Beavercreek), a joint sponsor of the plan, said the legislation will make it easier for military spouses to secure licensing reciprocity in order to practice their profession when they move to Ohio.

“Spousal unemployment is one of the largest hardships faced by service members’ spouses,” Perales said.

Out of an estimated 3,600 military spouses in Ohio, 35 percent work in a profession that requires a license or certificate, such as real estate agents, nurses, teachers and cosmetologists. Upon moving to a new state, these professionals face burdensome licensure requirements. This legislation attempts to alleviate that burden to make it easier for military spouses to practice their desired profession.

House Bill 133 requires Ohio’s occupational licensing agencies to issue temporary licenses or certificates to members of the military and their spouses who are licensed in another jurisdiction and have moved to Ohio for military duty.

Four simple qualifications must be met to receive a temporary license; the individual must hold a valid and good standing license in their previous state of employment, as well as, show adequate proof their spouse is on military duty and that the individual has moved to a place of residency in Ohio.

Perales said the bill is simply “a no-brainer.” He added the issue of professional license reciprocity is drawing increasing attention among the states and at the federal level. In fact, the Office of Military Community and Family Policy under the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense has named the issue one of their top priorities.

Perales said Department of Defense locating decisions are increasingly being influenced by state laws benefiting military members and families.

“This measure will help our military families and it sends a message that Ohio supports our nation’s armed forces and the men and women who serve,” Perales said.

The legislation now moves to the Ohio Senate for additional consideration.

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