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Governor signs new law to help military spouses

A bill waiting for a vote in the Montana Senate has the potential to help military spouses expand their work options in the state. The Montana House of Representatives passed House Bill 105, which addresses the issue of occupational licensure. If the senate passes the bill, some restrictions could be eased and reciprocity rules on occupational licensure in Montana could help create more work opportunities. (Courtesy graphic from www.mt.gov, official state website)

House Bill 105, an amendment to an act requiring professional and occupational licensing boards to license out-of-state applicants with equivalent licenses, was signed and enacted into law by the legislature of the state of Montana March 20, 2019. The amendment to Montana Code Annotated Title 37, Chapter 1, Part 3, Section 37-1-304, now states a board shall issue a license to practice without examination to a person licensed in another state if the board determines the individual meets specific criteria from a state that is in a reciprocity agreement with the state of Montana. (Courtesy graphic from www.mt.gov, official state website)

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. --

A Montana bill designed to help ease the licensing process for new Montana residents in their occupational fields was signed into law by Montana Governor Steve Bullock on March 20, 2019, making it law.

The community-at-large of military spouses and dependents, as well as military leadership, have voiced concerns over permanent changes of station to another state or region where their occupational license may not be honored.

Montana can now join the ranks of other states that have amended laws for helping to progress jobs for spouses and dependents.

The amendment to Montana Code Annotated Title 37, Chapter 1, Part 3, Section 37-1-304 now states a board shall issue a license to practice without examination to a person licensed in another state if the board determines the individual meets certain criteria from a state that is in a reciprocity agreement with the state of Montana.

Community, state and military leaders have worked diligently for years to help lawmakers make the change.

“Governor Steve Bullock, State Representative Katie Sullivan, Major General Matthew Quinn, Mr. David Weissman, and many others worked very hard to ensure the burdens our military family members feel as a result of moving to a new state are minimized,” said Col. Peter Bonetti, 341st Missile Wing vice commander.

“Their efforts are testimony to the incredible support Montana provides to all military members, regardless of active, guard or reserve status. I’m very excited to see this change pass and look forward to a smooth implementation,” he said.

With the law now changed, Montana can begin to negotiate license reciprocity agreements with other states.

States that have broadened licensure opportunities include Arkansas, Florida, North Carolina, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming, where job opportunities increased for military spouses and dependents after licensing agreements were broadened.