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State Rep. Shirkey Introduces Legislative for...

JACKSON, MI - State Rep. Mike Shirkey has introduced legislation that would make it easier for military spouses who move to Michigan to find work.

Under House Bills 5994-96  Michigan would recognize valid teaching certificates and health-care and real estate licenses issued from other states.

If the legislation passes, Michigan would join 23 other states with similar laws. Shirkey, R-Clark Lake, also plans to introduce follow-up legislation that would include anyone who wanted to move to Michigan, not just military spouses.

"This is just the start. We already know military families are some of the most mobile. They experience frustration on a higher frequency, but so does anybody else who chooses to move to the state," Shirkey said. "€œIt's about establishing a principle and building upon that and doing the right thing broadly. God bless them for wanting to move to Michigan."

(Related story: Rep. Mike Shirkey chosen as assistant House majority floor leader)


In February there were 11 states with legislation for military spouses. Now there are 23, with Illinois passing legislation in June.

His bills, introduced Friday, were referred to the House Committee on Education.

"As we celebrate Veterans Day this Monday, we should remember that we must help veterans and their families throughout the entire year," Shirkey said. "Moving to a new state can be a hectic and uneasy time, especially if a military spouse is without work. We need to expedite these temporary licenses for these spouses to find work and help provide for their families."

More than 100,000 military spouses with professional licenses have trouble transferring their licenses as they move from state to state, according to the Defense Department.

Military spouse unemployment is close to 26 percent, more than double the national average.

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