Sen. Curry co-sponsors bill to help service members, veterans and their families

Tue, 03/02/2021 - 6:15pm

    AUGUSTA — Senate District 11 Senator Chip Curry, D-Belfast, introduced a bill Tuesday to help military service members, veterans and their families who live in Maine.

    LD 374, “An Act To Allow Veterans, Active Duty Service Members and Their Spouses To Apply for Temporary Occupational Licenses and Certifications,” was the subject of a public hearing before the Legislature’s Committee on Innovation, Development, Economic Advancement and Business.

    “Military families, especially military spouses, make great sacrifices in the service to our nation. Their career should not be one of those sacrifices,” said Sen. Curry, senate chair of the IDEA Committee. “But too often as families are relocated to new duty stations, military spouses, whose careers are licensed, must navigate new state certificates, licenses, courses, exams, and fees. These barriers often result in financial hardships as they contend with the licensing requirements of their new state before they can even begin restarting their profession. This bill would help alleviate some of the burden placed on military families.”

    LD 374 would allow veterans or active duty members of the United States Armed Forces or spouses of veterans or active duty members of the United States Armed Forces who hold occupational or professional licenses or certifications issued by other states or territories of United States to obtain a temporary license while completing any requirements for licensure or certification in Maine by an occupational or professional licensing board.

    According to 2020 statistics, nearly 110,000 veterans live in Maine, a news release noted. 

    “Our military families give so much to our country and community. It only makes sense for us to cut red tape for them where we can,” said Sen. Joe Rafferty, D-Kennebunk, who co-sponsored the bill and serves as senate chair of the Legislature’s Labor and Housing Committee. “By taking this step, we’re helping families who are looking to make Maine their home and giving our state’s workforce a much needed boost.”

    LD 374 faces further action in committee.