(WXYZ) — Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the introduction of bipartisan legislation that supports military personnel, veterans and their families by reducing barriers to professional licensure.
“Our dedicated military servicemembers put their lives on the line for our families, and we have a duty to ensure their support when they return home,” she said. “That means making sure they have paths to good jobs so they can sustain their families. Today’s legislation will help us do just that. Clearing the path for our military servicemembers, veterans, and their dependents to enter a licensed profession will help us attract and retain talent in Michigan, and by making it easier for our military servicemembers to be licensed, we can make Michigan their home to live and work, permanently.”
The legislation will make current military personnel, veterans, and their dependents eligible for license reciprocity in Michigan.
Servicemembers will be eligible if they hold a valid occupational license in another state, are in good standing with no pending disciplinary action, and demonstrate competency in their profession through education, training and/or work experience. The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) will determine whether these criteria are satisfied.
“This is a meaningful step we can take to honor the many sacrifices of our military families,” said LARA Director Orlene Hawks. “To help attract these families to locate or stay in Michigan, LARA is committed to expediting licensure by processing completed applications within 48 hours.”
“As a veteran, the spouse of a veteran and now the Director of the MVAA, I have experienced many of the barriers that our veterans and their families face when transitioning to a new location or to civilian life,” said Director Zaneta Adams. “This initiative will make a difference and go a long way to encourage those who are seeking a professional license by making it a seamless process.”
Currently, veterans are eligible for initial license, registration, or application fee waivers for professional occupations regulated under the Occupational Code and the Skilled Trades Regulation Act. This legislation will expand present fee waivers under those Acts to include dependents of veterans and those on Active Duty. Fee waivers will also be extended to health professions licensed under the Public Health Code. A dependent is defined as a spouse or child under the age of 26.
Examples of licensing resources include:
- Utilizing military experience towards licensing
- Providing an exemption for renewal fees while on active duty
- Providing an exemption for continuing education requirements while on active duty
- Granting temporary licenses for active duty military personnel's spouses
- Granting a waiver for the initial license or initial registration fee for veterans
- Granting a waiver for the initial application processing fee for veterans
- Providing a reimbursement from Federal Department of Veterans Affairs for required and paid for examination fees.