The Kirtland Partnership Committee, along with key members of the state of New Mexico and local business leaders, have made it easier and more desirable for military personnel to transition to the great state of New Mexico with their families by relieving the burden and red tape associated with transferring professional licenses from other states.
On Aug. 19, the New Mexico Supreme Court adopted a military spouse limited law license for spouses of active duty service members stationed in New Mexico. This was the final profession of nine focused on by the U.S. Air Force that scored “red” to receive expedited licensure and reciprocity of licensure for military spouses in the state of New Mexico. The law license change takes effect Oct. 1.
The success of this effort has been reflected in the U.S. Air Force report card on military installations. All N.M. Air Force bases have previously scored “yellow” in a Red/Yellow/Green scoring criteria concerning the reciprocity of licensure area. Changes approved in HB 120, HB 30 and the approval of Military Spouse Law License have pushed New Mexico to a green score and further opened the door of opportunity for our military bases to continue growing, but, most importantly, to support our military families.
The U.S. Department of Defense has been clear in its assessment of how local communities hosting military installations will be evaluated for future mission assignments. The DOD and U.S. Air Force are focused on enhancing “quality of life” for military members and their families, affordable and quality off-base housing, availability of childcare, quality of education for military children, and reciprocity of licensure for spouses and their families. The ability of military spouses to quickly get licensed to support the family is so very important to the morale, recruitment and retention of military staff. New Mexico has the honor to host three U.S. Air Force bases in New Mexico, including KAFB in Albuquerque. Since military personnel are typically in our state for two to three years, the ability to get a license within 30 days is essential. Military spouses are a resource in New Mexico’s workforce; they include attorneys; medical staff, including doctors and nurses; and teachers and educational support staff, among many professions. The effort to recognize the professional licenses of existing military spouses will benefit any branch of the DOD and improve the quality of life of military families no matter their branch of service.
The effort to establish reciprocity has been ongoing, with legislators working with military officials, state officials and community leaders for more than eight years. We have finally seen the product of everyone’s hard work and determination pay off in a big way. New Mexico has taken the lead on licensure reciprocity for military spouses, and other states are taking notice. The approval of the military spouse attorney limited license by the New Mexico Supreme Court will ensure our military bases are retaining and recruiting military personnel by providing them the means to have the best quality of life for their families, while sustaining the military’s economic presence in the state of New Mexico.
The core of this effort will ensure that our military members and their families are taken care of, and that our military bases have the opportunity to bring more military personnel to our communities. Expediting and waiving fees for licensures of spouses, dependents and veterans in New Mexico shows the state’s and community members’ commitment to our military installations and service members.