Bill To Ease Professional Licensing Rules For Military Families Heads To Idaho House

Mar 8, 2019

Military members and their spouses could get some help when it comes to getting professional licenses in Idaho under a new bill.

Several jobs in Idaho require a professional license – everything from acupuncture to cutting hair.

But getting that license means you usually have to put in hundreds of hours of training and an Idaho license might not be valid in another state.

Rep. Brooke Green (D-Boise) says that can be a big setback for military families who often have to move. She spoke about her own experience as a military spouse during Thursday’s public hearing for the bill.

“Coming home and being able to continue a career is so important. Myself, I didn’t follow my husband in his career for that very reason: that I was going to have to sacrifice mine,” Green says.

Idaho currently allows professional licensing boards to give leeway to military families by considering prior civilian or military experience.

But this proposal from Rep. Gayann DeMordaunt (R-Eagle) would require them to do so and expedite their applications. “We need to take it one step further,” DeMordaunt says.

The bill would apply to active military members and their spouses, plus veterans who were discharged under honorable conditions.

More than 200,000 veterans return to civilian life every year, according to former state senator – and current Administrator for the Idaho Division of Veterans Services – Marv Hagedorn.

Attracting them to Idaho to help fill in gaps in the state’s skilled workforce should be a priority, Hagedorn says, and this bill would help accomplish that.

He says their on-the-job experience in the armed services are up to snuff.

“All of those folks that go through this training not only have to meet U.S. standards, but they’ve got to meet military standards as well.”

The House Business Committee unanimously approved the bill. It will now be considered by the entire House.

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