WASHINGTON – Senators Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen joined their colleagues in reintroducing the bipartisan Military Spouse Hiring Act, which would amend the tax code to incentivize businesses to hire military spouses.
According to a survey by Blue Star Families, military spouse employment is the top issue impacting active-duty families, and the top contributor to financial stress among military families. Military spouses consistently experience unemployment rates substantially higher than the national rate, and two thirds of employed active duty military spouses report underemployment. This legislation aims to address the issues that military spouses face in finding employment.
“It is not only service members themselves who sacrifice to keep our country safe, secure, and free, but also their family members who, in supporting them, face a variety of challenges as well,” said Senator Hassan. “It is common for military spouses to struggle to find employment due to relocation and other factors, which is why we are reintroducing this bipartisan bill to incentivize companies to hire them. This business tax credit is a commonsense and concrete way to help our military families, and I will continue to work across the aisle on ways to support service members and their families.”
“We must never overlook the sacrifices of military spouses and do everything we can to help them navigate the challenges they experience as a family unit, especially when it comes to complicated issues surrounding employment due to constant relocations. That’s why this bill incentivizing businesses to hire military spouses is so important,” said Senator Shaheen. “This tax incentive is a common sense solution to address a challenge that’s familiar to many military families and a source of financial instability. I’m proud to support this effort and will continue to work across the aisle to advocate for service members and their families.”
Senator Hassan continues to support service members, veterans, and their families. Senator Hassan helped pass into law comprehensive, bipartisan retirement security legislation recently, including provisions she authored with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) to help military families save for retirement. Senator Hassan helped develop and pass into law the PACT Act, which fundamentally reforms and improves how veterans exposed to toxic substances receive health care and benefits from the VA. Last year, bipartisan legislation introduced by Senator Hassan to strengthen the Solid Start program was signed into law.
Senator Shaheen has spearheaded efforts in the Senate in support of military families. In government funding legislation for fiscal year (FY) 2022, Shaheen successfully secured $3 million to implement her bipartisan legislation with Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) that became law, which improves the transferability of military spouses’ occupational licenses and helps alleviate the burden spouses endure if they’re small business owners from having to constantly re-register their businesses as they move from state to state with their families. In FY2023 government funding legislation, Shaheen supported the inclusion of $25 million for the Beyond Yellow Ribbon (BYR) program, which funds the New Hampshire National Guard’s Care Coordination Program. BYR programs provide outreach services to troops returning from deployment, including health care, marriage and financial counseling, substance misuse treatment and mental health services. Shaheen previously helped introduce legislation to amend the tax code to provide businesses a financial incentive to hire military spouses and create new flexible spending accounts (FSAs) to make it easier for military families to afford childcare. In late 2022, Shaheen joined a bipartisan group of Senators in sending a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, calling on him to use all tools and authorities at his disposal to protect military families from private housing contractors that are not providing protections guaranteed by the military tenant’s bill of rights.