California’s Military Families Get Help Securing Jobs under New Salas Bill

AB 107 will expedite job relicensing for qualified military spouses throughout the state


SACRAMENTO –Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) passed Assembly Bill (AB) 107, with unanimous bipartisan support. AB 107 expedites the process of relicensing for military spouses and expands the job opportunities that military spouses qualify for, while easing the burdens placed on families serving our nation.


“I’m proud to champion AB 107 that reaffirms California’s commitment to our military families,” said Assemblymember Salas. “Transferring professional licenses that spouses have earned needs to be a seamless process to ensure our military families can always put food on the table for their families.”


Military spouses throughout the nation are five times more likely to be unemployed in comparison to non-military civilians. California is home to over 62,000 military spouses, the highest in the nation. Approximately 35 percent of military spouses work in a profession that requires a license in order to be employed. Although a spouse may be licensed for a job in one state, when they move to California, the process of transferring a license or applying for a new license can be burdensome and take an unnecessarily long amount of time before a license is ultimately issued. California is one of only four states that doesn’t generally recognize military spouse licenses.


“I speak from personal and professional experience, the military spouse does not choose to uproot their professional career every 3-4 years because it is beneficial,” said Steven Mauro, a military spouse and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. “The military spouse chooses to uproot their professional career because of their commitment to their spouse and their spouse’s commitment to our country. AB107 will prevent military spouses from losing thousands of dollars in salary, lost time job searching, and ease stressful transitions for future professionals.”


“Military spouses are disproportionately affected by varying state-specific licensure requirements that can cause delays and gaps in employment, with over 34 percent of the working population requiring state licensure to practice in their professions,” states Kelli May Douglas, Pacific Southwest Regional Liaison for the Defense-State Liaison Office.


Jobs such as accountants, auditors, and dental assistants rank among the top occupations for military spouses, yet these licenses are not currently included in the expedited licensing program in California. AB 107 would address this issue by adding these professions and others to the licensing program to enable military spouses to more quickly gain employment in a number of important jobs in California.


AB 107 will now head to the Governor’s Desk.