September 9, 2016
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation Expediting Professional Licenses for Spouses of Active Duty Military Members

TOP Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation Expediting...


Legislation Will Recognize Licenses Obtained in Other States, Expedite Licensure Process for Spouses of Active Duty Military Members Transferred to New York 

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation to expedite the professional licensure process for spouses of active duty military personnel transferred to New York who are licensed to practice in another state.

“This common sense legislation breaks down artificial barriers that caused undue burdens on military families and opens the door for more career opportunities for military spouses in New York," Governor Cuomo said. "I'm proud to sign this measure into law and cut this unneeded red tape once and for all."

The bill (A.4394-A/S.2947-A) will require expedited licensing and allow military spouses to obtain temporary licenses while their application is pending.

The legislation requires the State Education Department to expedite the licensure process for professions overseen by SED for spouses of active duty members of the United States armed forces, National Guard, or reserves who are transferred to New York and who hold a license with substantially similar requirements from another state. It also authorizes SED to provide a temporary license to these military spouses so they can practice their profession immediately while their full licensure application is pending.

This new licensing process will apply to all SED licensed professions, including physicians, nurses, physical therapists, engineers, and mental health practitioners, among others.

Senator Patty Ritchie said, “Military families move 10 times more often than others—often crossing state lines that have different rules and protocols for professional licenses—and this makes it more difficult for military spouses to find work to help support their families. In recent years, top leaders at Fort Drum and Defense Department officials shared with me the importance of getting this measure passed, which they view as a key tool to encourage trained and experienced military service members to reenlist. Members of our military and their families sacrifice so much, and this is truly a way to make things easier for them by creating more—and better—opportunities so they succeed in the new communities where they are assigned, and I would like to thank the Governor for recognizing the importance of this measure.”

Assistant Assembly Speaker Felix W. Ortiz said, "As a veteran and a fighter for veteran’s causes, I am pleased that the Governor signed my legislation into law today. This law allows military spouses to pursue professional job opportunities that were closed to them before. We are now on par with the majority of states that recognize the importance of military families. We should always be able to support our armed forces in ways like this."

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