WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand is hoping to pass a bill that could make it easier for military spouses to get hired when they move to other states.
With the Military Spouse Hiring Act, a group of 20 Senate Republicans and Democrats are pushing to expand the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, which offers tax relief to businesses that hire individuals identified within a group that faces systemic barriers to employment. Sen. Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said military spouses are one of those groups.
“Military spouses make tremendous sacrifices to help our armed forces succeed,” she said. “Their careers and financial stability should not be one of them. The Military Spouse Hiring Act would create employment opportunities for spouses while also breathing new life into local labor markets.”
The Military Spouse Hiring Act would amend federal laws to include military spouses as a group facing a systematic barrier to employment, alongside people who have previously been convicted of a felony, veterans, people who receive SNAP benefits, and people who have been unemployed for more than 27 weeks. It’s got support from 20 senators of both parties, and has a companion bill introduced in the House. It has endorsements from a large number of military advocacy groups.
The tax credit provides tax relief to businesses covering 40% of the first $6,000 in wages paid to someone from those identified groups in their first year of employment, generally paying about $2,400 per person.
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