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Legislation Introduced to Help More Military Spouses Work in Alaska

HB 262 Calls for Expedited Regulations Allowing Temporary Occupational Licenses for Eligible Military Spouses


Image courtesy of the Office of Rep. Scott Kawasaki

Fairbanks – Representative Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks) has pre-filed legislation calling for new regulations to allow military spouses to use occupational licenses from other states in Alaska. House Bill 262 requires the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development to file progress reports on the new regulations with the Alaska State Legislature. The bill also requires the Department to track how temporary courtesy occupations licenses are used and the efforts to ensure that occupational boards know and understand the requirement to facilitate the use of temporary occupational licenses while military spouses complete the state-specific requirements for a license.

“The military men and women stationed in Alaska honor us all with their service, but all too often their spouses have trouble finding work because the licenses they hold in another state are not valid in Alaska. We should make every reasonable accommodation to allow those hard-working military spouses to use their skills in Alaska rather than place regulatory roadblocks in their way,” said Rep. Kawasaki.

Image courtesy of the Office of Rep. Scott Kawasaki

There have been previous efforts to address this situation in Alaska, including legislation that was passed and signed into law in 2011. However, some of the provisions of the bill are still not implemented, and much-needed regulations are languishing. The delay in implementation was recently highlighted when several lawmakers asked the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development for an update. The Department reported that over 25 occupational boards have not yet implemented regulations for expedited temporary licenses. 

“Sometimes reports to the legislature are a waste of time and money, but I firmly believe that in this case, an annual report will help speed things up because it will force the various occupational boards in charge of licensing to communicate with the Department. I believe passage of this bill will provide the spark needed to get the new regulations written and implemented. We have some extremely talented military spouses out there just waiting for the opportunity to put their skills to good use here in Alaska,” said Rep. Kawasaki.

HB 262 will be formally introduced and receive committee assignments when the Second Session of the 30th Alaska State Legislature gets underway on Tuesday, January 16th.

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