- Governor Ned Lamont signs legislation aimed at making it easier for military spouses and others moving to Connecticut to obtain an occupational license
- Unemployment rate among military spouses has been elevated due to varying licensure requirements in states and frequent relocations
- Legislation streamlines approval of licensee if applicant has practiced under another state’s license for at least four years and meets certain other requirements
Summary by Dirk Langeveld
Governor Ned Lamont has signed legislation aimed at making it easier for military spouses and others who move to Connecticut from out of state to obtain the occupational licenses necessary to work in their field.
Lamont proposed the legislation earlier this year after a report from the secretaries of the Air Force, Army, and Navy on the challenges military spouses face due to their frequent relocation and varying license requirements between states. The report determined that 35 percent of military spouses worked in a position requiring a state license or certification, and that the unemployment rate among military spouses stood at 16 percent before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The legislation, which goes into effect on Oct. 1, directs the Connecticut Department of Public Health and Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection to issue a license or credential to a military spouse if they have practiced safely under another state’s license for at least four years, met the necessary examination requirements defined under Connecticut state statutes, and completed all background checks.
- In remarks at the signing ceremony, Lamont said the legislation sends a signal that military spouses whose job requires an occupational license will have an easier time finding work in Connecticut, and that military families are welcomed and appreciated in the state’s communities
- The legislation also requires the Department of Public Health to convene a working group to examine whether Connecticut should join any interstate licensure compacts and make its recommendations by Jan. 15, 2022
- Connecticut is one of just eight states that has not joined such a compact
- The bill replaces a requirement that Department of Consumer Protection licensees possess “good moral character,” which has been criticized as being vague enough to potentially exclude a wide range of people who would otherwise be qualified for licensure, including those with criminal records