FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 9, 2018
Alaska House Passes Legislation to Help More Military Spouses Work in Alaska
HB 262 Calls for Assurances on Allowing Temporary Occupational Licenses for Eligible Military Spouses
Juneau – Today, the Alaska House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill to evaluate regulations which allow military spouses with occupational licenses from other states to obtain expiated courtesy occupational licenses in Alaska. House Bill 262 requires the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development to provide a report to the Alaska Legislature on the progress of implementing the regulations. HB 262 requires the Department to track how temporary courtesy occupational licenses are used and to document that the occupational boards in Alaska know and understand the legislative mandate to provide courtesy licenses to military spouses.
“All too often qualified and eager military spouses can’t work or are delayed in going to work because they can’t obtain a new occupational license. This is despite the fact that they are skilled and licensed in another state. This bill clarifies that the Alaska Legislature wants the administration and the occupational boards to make absolutely sure that these hard-working military spouses are able to use their skills in Alaska,” said HB 262 sponsor Representative Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks). “The process of transferring to a new state and obtaining a new occupational license can be daunting and stressful for military spouses and their families. As lawmakers, we should do everything that we can to make this process as pain-free as possible.”
In 2011, legislation passed the Alaska Legislature to provide expedited temporary courtesy licenses to eligible individuals transferred to Alaska with their active duty service member spouse. Since then, there has been growing concern that some of the provisions of the bill have yet been implemented, and that many military spouses may not be aware of what opportunities are available to them.
“One of the best ways we can serve our men and women in uniform is by serving their families. By helping us identify where we can make improvements, HB 262 will help ensure that we are doing everything we can to make this happen,” said Rep. Kawasaki.
House Bill 262 passed the Alaska House of Representatives today by a unanimous vote of 40-0. The bill will be sent to the Alaska State Senate for consideration.
For more information, please contact Mercedes Colbert in Rep. Kawasaki’s office at (907) 465-3466.