A military family law from First Lady Michelle Obama’s home state of Illinois has Mrs. Obama cheering.
The First Lady attended a bill signing ceremony at an Illinois National Guard armory in Chicago. The ceremony made Illinois the 23rd state in the country to have legislation in support of Mrs. Obama’s efforts regarding military families.
Illinois’ new law, which will take effect on January 1, will make it easier for military spouses to advance their own careers, despite the instability in terms of residency that comes with military life. With the legislation, it will be easier for Veterans and military spouses to transfer out-of-state occupational licenses, enabling them to stay on the job in such professions as nursing and teaching, even after relocating.
During the ceremony, which was held on Tuesday, Mrs. Obama spoke before a few hundred service members and their families, and she shared that she was inspired by the stories of military spouses “who simply want to provide for their families and get back to the careers they love.”
Mrs. Obama shared: “The story of the teacher who has moved 12 times, taking odd jobs to pay the bills… The story of the social worker whose skills go unused as she waits months for paperwork to clear. The accountants, the psychologists, the real-estate agents, child care providers and so many others. But far too often they’re stuck in a web of bureaucracy.”
Among those who will enjoy the benefits that may be derived from the law is Courtney Sensenig of Chicago, who is licensed in three states and specializes in obstetrics. Sensenig, who has moved eight times because of her husband’s Navy career, shared: “I cannot tell you the number of months I’ve spent waiting around for licensing paperwork to catch up so that I can continue with my own nursing career.”