Legislation would facilitate job growth and keep families together

COLUMBUS— State Rep. Casey Weinstein (D-Hudson) today announced the unanimous passage of House Bill (HB) 133, bipartisan legislation joint-sponsored by Rep. Rick Perales (R-Beavercreek) that will allow for the issuing of temporary occupational licenses to active duty service members and their spouses living in Ohio as a result of undergoing a permanent change of station.

“It was the United States Air Force that brought both me and my wife, Amanda, to Ohio when we were assigned to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base,” said Weinstein. “As active duty members of the military, we were far from well off. But we were comfortable. Regrettably, I cannot say the same was true of all my married military family members in uniform. Time and time again, I saw newly stationed service members struggle as their finances were impacted by spousal unemployment.”

In 2017, the Department of Defense found that 25 percent of military spouses are unemployed, a rate seven times higher than the national average and well above the state average.

“By prohibiting military spouses from practicing the work they have already been licensed to do, Ohio is penalizing service members’ families for their commitment to the United States and depriving the state of high quality, in-demand professionals like nurses and teachers,” added Weinstein. “We talk a lot about our promise to veterans, but we have a promise to active duty service members and their families as well. In passing this legislation out of the Ohio House today, we take one more step toward meeting that obligation and letting our service men and women know that when we talk about how family comes first, we include military families stationed in Ohio as well.”

HB 133 was passed unanimously out of the House and now heads to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.