News Releases

Legislation focuses on how frequent moves impact the overall success of our military families 

Senator Murray: “This legislation is good for military families, it’s good for employers, and it’s good for the security of our country”

WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Senator Patty Murray has cosponsored new legislation to help reduce military spouse unemployment and examine the effects of frequent moves and reassignments on military spouses’ careers. Led by Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), the Military Spouse Employment Act of 2018 expands hiring and career opportunities, improves access to continuing education programs, helps ensure military families can find affordable child care, and provides better transition and employment resources for military spouses. Military families frequently face financial insecurity due to spousal unemployment or underemployment, which impacts the overall readiness of our military. Somewhere between 12 and 25 percent of military spouses are unemployed.

“Military families make incredible sacrifices on behalf of our nation, so anything we can do to support them should be one of the easiest calls we make all day,” Senator Murray said. “I’m proud to partner with Senator Kaine and Senator Gillibrand to bring attention to this critical issue and to start to make headway on bringing down the stubbornly high military spouse unemployment rate and ensuring military spouses have the resources to connect with employers that will benefit from their skills. This legislation is good for military families, it’s good for employers, and it’s good for the security of our country.”  

The Military Spouse Employment Act tackles four main areas:

  • Employment Opportunities
    • Boosts military spouses’ competitiveness in the job market
    • Supports military spouse entrepreneurship
  • Continuing Education and Training
    • Instructs the Department of Defense to expand educational opportunities for military spouses
  • Child care
    • Makes it easier for military families to find affordable child care by ensuring that the Department of Defense is providing adequate access to care
  • Counseling and Transition Assistance
    • Provides military spouses with training and resources to ease their families’ transitions to civilian life

This legislation is endorsed by Blue Star Families, Military Officers Association of America, National Military Families Association, the Military Family Advisory Network, and The American Legion.

For a one-pager on the bill, click here.

For the full text of the bill, click here.