WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), a senior member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, is leading legislation to amend the tax code to incentivize businesses to hire military spouses.
The Military Spouse Hiring Act would address underemployment for military spouses by expanding the Work Opportunity Tax Credit program—which incentivizes employers to hire individuals who experience unique employment barriers—to include military spouses. Frequent moves often stall military spouses’ upward career progression and force them to find new jobs.
“Military spouses make countless sacrifices as they support their husbands and wives, and our nation’s defense. We can help reduce the burdens they face in the process of finding gainful employment by expanding this tax credit so businesses have an extra incentive to hire these unsung heroes,” Boozman said.
The legislation was introduced by Boozman and Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Mike Rounds (R-SD).
The Military Spouse Hiring Act is supported by the nation’s leading VSOs including the National Military Family Association and Military Officer Association of America.
“The military spouse unemployment rate has remained too high for too long. When military spouses can’t find work, it’s a problem for their family’s financial stability and wellbeing,” said Besa Pinchotti, Executive Director and CEO of the National Military Family Association. “The Military Spouse Hiring Act will encourage more employers to hire military spouses, investing in our military spouses, our military families, and our military as a whole."
“Military spouses make tremendous sacrifices for our country yet continue to face significant burdens when it comes to employment opportunities. The continued high rate of unemployment and under employment among military spouses not only impacts the financial stability of military families, but also hurts military retention. More than a third of military families cite spouse employment challenges as a reason for leaving active duty,” said MOAA president and CEO Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, USAF (Ret). “We appreciate Sens. Kaine, Boozman, Hassan, and Rounds’ efforts to incentivize the hiring of military spouses which will benefit this great community, the local economy, and employers alike.”
Full text of the legislation is available here.
Companion legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.