The Buckeye Institute's Fight For Ohio's Military Spouses and Families Joined By Legislators

Feb 22, 2017

COLUMBUS, OHIO--On Tuesday, Representatives Derek Merrin (R-Monclova Township) and Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) introduced legislation in Ohio's House based on The Buckeye Institute's idea to make it easier for the spouses of military personnel stationed in Ohio to receive an occupational license in their chosen profession.

Some of you may recall Buckeye's press release and policy brief back in November highlighting the difficulties and financial hardships experienced by military families as they move from place to place. In particular, military spouses often face significant barriers in trying to maintain an active license in their profession in each state.

As we mentioned in our brief, "The Institute for Veterans and Military Families revealed that 73 percent of military spouses with an occupational license require a renewal or reissuance of their license after being transferred to a new state."

Buckeye's report called on Ohio to recognize out-of-state licenses for military spouses. Today, we are pleased to announce that two Ohio legislators have answered that call.

Rep. Derek Merrin noted, "The Buckeye Institute is leading the way on occupational licensure reform. Buckeye's work has led to legislation that will expedite the licensure process for military members and their spouses."

Merrin and Gavarone's bill will grant full licenses to these individuals as long as the requirements for the license they held in another state are substantially similar to or more stringent than those of Ohio.  For those individuals where the license they held in another state is not similar to Ohio standards, they can still obtain a "license by endorsement" and be allowed to act within their scope of practice for up to 12 months while they meet full Ohio license standards.

Greg Lawson, Senior Policy Analyst with The Buckeye Institute said, "Families of those serving our nation deserve to be able to work in their chosen profession unencumbered by red tape as they move from state to state. This policy helps reduce this unfortunate burden for the families who are already sacrificing so much."

While Ohio still desperately needs to comprehensively reform its occupational licensing regime, any policy that makes it easier for Ohioans to work (and fights for military families at the same time!) is a step in the right direction--and we are very proud to be Buckeyes today.

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Founded in 1989, The Buckeye Institute is an independent research and educational institution--a think tank--whose mission is to advance free-market public policy in the states.