AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Texas legislators made it easier this year for spouses of military service members moving to the Lone Star State to secure work quickly.
Senate Bill 1200 allows most out-of-state occupational licenses to be recognized in the state.
“This is a big deal for the economic impact of Texas and it makes Texas a much more desirable place for the military to be able to come to Texas to work,” Gray Bridwell, vice president of military affairs for the Abilene Chamber of Commerce, said.
Bridwell says his organization saw the difficulties military families faced when relocating here.
“We found that a lot of times, the amount of time it took to get the license was about the amount of time that they were actually stationed in Texas,” Bridwell said.
Military spouses will be able to work in the state and have their out-of-state occupational license recognized for up to three years without getting a new license from Texas. That’s as long as their previous state had standards equal to the ones here.
“This is one extra tool in the toolbox that we have now to assist these families,” David Kostroun, deputy executive commissioner for regulatory services at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, said.
Texas HHSC oversees certifications for various occupations, including nurse aides, social workers, marriage and family therapists and licensed professional counselors.
“It’s truly a benefit to them and we certainly want to support military members and their families,” Kostroun said.
To benefit from the new law, military spouses must notify the state agency overseeing their occupation about their intent to work in Texas. They must also be in good standing in their other state.