COLUMBUS—Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) announced that the Senate approved legislation this week that would ease the employment transition for military husbands and wives who relocate to Ohio with their active-duty spouses. Senate Bill 7, which passed unanimously, would generally require occupational licensing boards to reciprocate other states’ licenses for spouses of servicemen and women stationed in Ohio.

The bill will allow agencies to issue certificates for up to three years, giving individuals substantial time to become licensed under Ohio law, while still enabling them to practice their professions upon relocation to the state. This aims to solve a primary issue reported by service members when they transfer to a new location for duty. More than 70 percent of military spouses with an occupational license require a renewal or re-issuance of their license when transferred to a new state.

“This bill is important to military families’ stability and success,” said Obhof, who co-sponsored the bill. “They make sacrifices every day to serve our country, and our economy and our community benefit from their expertise and contributions.”

Identified as a priority by the Department of Defense, the legislation could impact Ohio's competitiveness in attracting new missions for Ohio's many military bases.

Additionally, provisions in the bill would require the Director of Administrative Services to prepare an annual report on the number and type of temporary licenses or certificates issued. This information could then be used by the Senate to determine whether future licensing reforms are necessary.

Senate Bill 7 now moves to the Ohio House of Representatives for consideration.