Mackinac Center Praises Bipartisan Proposal to Increase Job Opportunities for Military Families
Lawmakers and the governor should build on recommendations and reform licensing rules more broadly
Tuesday, November 10, 2020|Font size:
The Mackinac Center for Public Policy applauds the legislative package to reform occupational licensing requirements for all military members, their families and veterans. These changes will expand opportunities for these individuals to work and thrive in Michigan.
"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 and author of two studies on occupational licensing in Michigan. "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.”
The Mackinac Center has previously called for Michigan to join states like Arizona and Florida in universal license recognition. That would allow workers who are licensed by another state to move to Michigan and immediately begin work. They would not have to pay more fees to the state or take redundant tests. Licensing requirements are similar across states, so this is a needless burden on skilled workers eager to be employed.
Military spouses working in licensed fields are often health care workers or teachers. But Michigan requires licenses for construction workers, cosmetologists, barbers, lawyers and more. The proposed changes to the law would allow workers in those fields to quickly begin working once they arrive.
This proposal is a positive step in the right direction, and the Mackinac Center encourages lawmakers and the administration to continue to reform the state’s onerous occupational licensing process for all Michiganders.
The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is a nonprofit research and educational institute that advances the principles of free markets and limited government. Through our research and education programs, we challenge government overreach and advocate for a free-market approach to public policy that frees people to realize their potential and dreams.
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