Jefferson City delivered a win for the spouses of military members in Missouri recently. The governor signed off on licensing reciprocity legislation that allows military spouses to more swiftly receive a Missouri occupational license if they hold a valid license in another state.
As I wrote when this legislation was first being considered, this is a worthwhile removal of red tape. Military families are very mobile, and military spouses are especially burdened by regulations that don’t allow occupational licenses to transfer from one state to another. Licensing reciprocity will significantly reduce the barriers for military spouses, giving them easier access to jobs while their spouses serve our country. This legislation is also good for Missouri, potentially leading to more qualified professionals in our workforce and making our state a more desirable location for military families to relocate.
While this is a good move by Missouri lawmakers, a bigger question remains: Why is broad licensing reciprocity only allowed for military spouses and not the rest of the workforce? Military couples aren’t the only people who have to deal with the issues created when a move is required because of job demands. Lawmakers should remove barriers for all workers, not just a select few. Hopefully we will see licensing reciprocity for all workers very soon.