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Alaska House Majority Caucus press release - Bill Helping Military Families Heads to Governor (HB28)

House concurs in Senate changes to HB28- temp licensing of professionals

Wednesday, April 13, 2011, Juneau, Alaska – A bill helping military families by creating temporary professional licenses has cleared the Legislature.

House Bill 28, sponsored by Finance Committee and Veterans Caucus Co-Chair Bill Thomas, R-Haines, allows military spouses to obtain six-month temporary licenses in their field of practice as long as they meet the state’s professional standards.  It also allows a service member who is licensed in this state to be exempt from paying licensing fees while they are deployed in a combat zone.

“Military families deal with deployments, transitions, training missions, and relocations – all of which can cause family turmoil or lead to financial hardships. HB 28 offers military spouses an opportunity to earn a second income or become a dual income family,” Thomas said. “Military spouses are just like their civilian counterparts; they depend on two incomes and want to achieve their goals and aspirations.

“As a matter of principle, I don’t believe that our Reservists and Guard members, who have active civilian lives, should have to worry about maintaining their professional licenses while they are in harm’s way serving our country,” Thomas said.

The Senate made small technical changes to the bill in committee, and Thomas says the changes helped the final bill. Included in the changes was a clarification that a service member is exempt from having to maintain their license while they are deployed in a combat zone and for 180 days after returning from combat.

The concepts within HB 28 are priority legislation for the U.S. Department of Defense, who are making a nationwide push to support military families

HB 28, which passed the Alaska Senate and House unanimously on concurrence, now heads to the governor for signature

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