Maienschein writes bill for military spouses

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SAN DIEGO—Military spouses have to make extraordinary sacrifices and many times that means their careers. Now, a local lawmaker has plans to make it easier for them to get back to work when they move to California.

Maienschein writes bill for military spouses .57.36 PMVida Donnette loves her husband and after the Navy moved them from New York to San Diego, she began to love life in California…but the nurse of five years cannot do what she loves.

““It’s been like a roller coaster ride,” Donnette said. “It’s been hard because there are so many things that you have to go through like fees and all of the background checks and what not. At the same time I found out from them that I have to go back to school.”

According to the Department of Defense one-third of military spouses work in a licensed vocation.

When families like the Donnette’s move to California, spouses have get re-certified.

That process is timely, expensive and almost impossible if the service member is deployed.

Donnette said, “We’ve actually considered packing up our house and for me to move to New York while he’s deployed.”

Thousands of military families are in the same boat and right now the unemployment rate for military spouses is three times the national average.

That’s why Assembly Member Brian Maienschein authored a new bill.

Assembly Bill 186 would give a temporary license to any applicant that can prove they are married or in a domestic partnership with an active duty service member.

“California has more military spouses than any state in the country,” Maienschein said. “We have over 70,000 military families in California.”

Maienschein added, “it seems clear that for example, if you’re licensed to cut hair outside of California you should be able to cut hair here in California.”

Twenty-four states already have similar laws on the books and Donnette says she can’t afford a delay.

“Honestly, it’s very heartbreaking,” Donnette said. “All of my hard work and for me my self identity is slipping away.”