Military Spouse Professional License Portability

Mr. John Demers, Fort Irwin Deputy Garrison Commander, testifies on licensure barriers for transitioning service members and spouses during a meeting of the Select Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development.

SACRAMENTO — Fort Irwin Garrison leadership participated in a joint informational hearing before the Select Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development in the California State Capitol on Aug. 13.

Deputy Garrison Commander, John Demers, joined nine other speakers to discuss career portability for California veterans and military spouses.

The meeting comprised testimony on three, distinct subjects effecting the ability of military spouses to work in professions that require state licenses.

The committee listened as experts addressed the difficulties experienced by military families when assigned to bases in the State. Speakers pointed out that the time required to complete California requirements often take longer than the servicemembers assignment.

Another speaker pointed out that the cost of acquiring a state-specific license is often a burden on the finances of the military family, especially when the spouse cannot work without the license.

The most emotional testimony came from military spouse, Sonia Trefflich, a clinical Social Worker. Fighting back tears, Trefflich told the committee how her family struggle to make ends meet. The high cost of living in California and the difficulties of getting her licenses accepted in California combined to push her family to their financial and emotional limits.

The committee also heard about efforts to partner with other states and licensing boards to standardize testing and create reciprocal agreements on licensing.

Concluding the meeting, the committee pledged to look for more ways to allow military spouses to work in their chosen field and remove barriers to license portability.