News Story

Bipartisan Bills Ease Occupational Licensure Mandates For Veterans

Service members and vets licensed in other states could work in Michigan, too

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a press release this week announcing her support for bipartisan legislation to reduce state licensing mandates that impose barriers to some veterans seeking work. The bills had not yet been assigned numbers as of noon on Nov. 12.

The legislative package would amend a number of laws governing occupational licenses in ways to benefit veterans and current military personnel. Such individuals who are already licensed in another state could work in Michigan if they can “demonstrate competency in their profession through education, training and/or work experience.” They would not have to satisfy a separate set of requirements for Michigan.

They would also have to be considered by the other state’s authorities to be “in good standing with no pending disciplinary action.”

The lead sponsors include Republicans Rep. Andre Schroeder of Independence Township and Sen. John Bizon of Battle Creek, and Democratic Rep. Sarah Anthony of Lansing and Sen. Adam Hollier of Detroit.

Major General Paul Rogers, the state’s adjutant general and director of Michigan’s Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, praised the legislation.

“This program will remove significant barriers of employment and economic hurdles for our military members and their families and is an added benefit to serving in Michigan,” he said in a press release. “As the state continues to invest in programs like this, we collectively show that Michigan as a great place for military and veterans to live, work, raise a family and retire.”

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a free-market think tank based in Midland, says it supports the bills.

“Besides the challenge of being married to someone in the armed forces, military spouses also face major employment problems,” said Jarrett Skorup, director of marketing and communications at the Mackinac Center in a press release. Skorup, author of two studies on occupational licensing in Michigan, added, "More than one-third of military spouses work in fields that require a professional license, many of which do not transfer across state lines. Military spouses have a 24% unemployment rate, in no small part due to arbitrary regulations that states impose on them before they can legally work. Michigan will benefit from removing these barriers for military families and should continue reforming and reducing licensing requirements across the board.”

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.