Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
On April 21, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly signed into law House Bill 2066 — the Occupational License Reciprocity Bill — in a public ceremony at the Kansas State Capitol rotunda.
The bill makes it easier for military spouses to transfer professional licenses obtained in other state to Kansas by accelerating parts of the licensing process.
The bill will officially take effect July 1 and will reduce the wait time for issuing licensing credentials to a service member or spouse within 15 days of the submission of a complete application instead of the previous 60-day wait period.
According to a press release from the governor’s office, Kelly said, “This bill is a win-win for our veterans and military families and our continued economic recovery following COVID-19. By providing Occupational Licensing Reciprocity, this bipartisan legislation will benefit our state’s military community, help our employers who rely on licensing for hiring, and spur economic growth statewide.”
Retired Lt. Gen. Perry Wiggins, executive director of Kelly’s Military Council, said when he joined the Army more than 35 years ago, the military was a different place.
“Only a small percentage of the military was married. Today, more than 60 percent of the force is married, and a large percentage of the military spouses work. Many military families depend on dual incomes,” Wiggins said. “Armed with a keen understanding of the challenges faced by military spouses as they navigate the complex and lengthy process associated with reciprocity and licensing, Governor Kelly and the state of Kansas signed House Bill 2066 into law.”
The ceremony was attended by military personnel from around the state, including Brig. Gen. Donn Hill, Combined Arms Center deputy commanding general and Army University provost.
To read the full bill, visit http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2021_22/measures/hb2066/.