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WV executive order establishes commission for military spouses

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Military members move more often than civilians, often making it difficult for their spouses to find work, especially when their careers require certain state certificates or licenses.

But Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin on April 11 signed an executive order to relieve some of that burden.

Executive Order 4-13 establishes the Governor's Commission on Military Spousal Licensure to help civilian spouses by evaluating best practices to facilitate license reciprocity and portability of military spouses, including licensure by endorsement, temporary or provisional licensing and expedited application processes.

"Although the state of West Virginia maintains licensing and certification requirements to ensure the safety of our citizens, the lack of licensing reciprocity and transferability between states can create an unfair barrier to military spouses in pursuit of their career goals," Tomblin said in a statement. "It is my hope, through the commission, we will discover new and innovative ways for our state to better assist military families moving to West Virginia with professional licensure and certification requirements, providing commonsense, efficient government services to those who have given so much of themselves to our state and nation."

First lady Joanne Tomblin will chair the 11-member commission, which also will include two representatives from the governor's office, the adjutant general of West Virginia or his designee and seven citizen member appointed by the governor. Those seven citizen members would include three military spouses working in a profession that requires a license or certificate and four others who work in a profession that requires a license or certificate in West Virginia.

The commission will submit their recommendations and any potential legislation to the West Virginia Legislature by Dec. 15.