The state of New York will expedite the process for issuing occupational licenses to the spouses of active-duty military personnel transferred to New York who are licensed to practice in another state, under legislation signed Sept. 9 by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D).
The bill (A.4394-A/S.2947-A) also requires the state to issue temporary licenses while the applications of military spouses are pending.
The measure would cover as many as 50 fields, including medicine, architecture, engineering, accounting and social work. The bill’s enactment makes New York the last state in the country to give special consideration for licensing to military spouses, reported the Watertown Daily Times.
“This law allows military spouses to pursue professional job opportunities that were closed to them before. We are now on par with the majority of states that recognize the importance of military families,” Assistant Assembly Speaker Felix Ortiz, who introduced the legislation, said in a press release issued by the governor’s office.
The legislation requires the state Education Department to expedite the licensure process for spouses of active-duty members of the armed forces, National Guard, or reserves who are transferred to New York and who hold a license with substantially similar requirements from another state.
Fort Drum supported the legislation, with the post’s Deputy Garrison Commander Eric Wagenaar saying the bill would help the region encourage military families to come to and stay in the North Country.