WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — A game-changer for some, Kansas’ Military Spouse Occupational Licensing Bill (HB 2066) cuts down wait times from 60 to only 15 days for military members and their families, allowing military spouses to get back to work sooner after relocating.
Kansas’ Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. David Weishaar says military spouses move 10 times more often than civilian spouses and nearly 35% of military spouses require an occupational license to do their job.
“I looked for opportunities on base, but I was also limited in coming here to looking for opportunities on base,” said Lindsay Weaver, an active duty military spouse.
Weaver is a director of psychological health at McConnell Air Force Base. She says many states have specific qualifications for many occupational licenses making it hard on the wallets of military families when their spouse is moved to another state.
“For a lot of these highly specialized really, really skilled valuable assets to the state of Kansas, there’s a big loss of income when you move from state to state,” Weaver added.
Weaver was lucky enough to find a job on base at McConnell. But for many, that’s just not the case when they move to a new state.
“We moved to Oklahoma,” said Amber-Lise Meyers, a military spouse and Wichita-area dentist. “I had graduated from my dental hygiene program, took me about five to six years to get through it and receive my bachelor’s degree,” Meyers said. “And when we moved there unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a license because this type of law didn’t exist.”
When Meyers’ husband was re-stationed in Wichita before the new licensing bill in Kansas, she had to wait to get her license and begin working again. Meyers hopes this bill will save the hassle for families going forward.
“You’re trying to find a job, you’re trying to organize a move and getting a license is a huge part of that process,” said Meyers. “This just makes the process a lot quicker.”