Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine introduces bill to help reduce unemployment for military spouses

FILE - In this April 7, 2017, file photo, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., center, speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. Democrats say they’re shifting to offense on health care, emboldened by successes in defending the Affordable Care Act. They say their ultimate goal is a government guarantee of affordable coverage for all. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine introduced a bill on Tuesday that would help reduce unemployment for military spouses.

According to a press release announcing the new bill, unemployment among military spouses is between 12 and 25 percent.

Under the Military Spouse Employment Act of 2018 resources would be expanded to help military families find job opportunities and affordable child care, among other efforts.

“After speaking with military spouses across Virginia, I’ve heard again and again about the difficulty spouses face in finding work as a result of frequent moves and unexpected transfers,” Kaine stated in a press release. “This reality hurts our military readiness and causes financial insecurity for the military families who selflessly serve our country. Military spouses bring a lot of talent to the workforce, and this bill will expand job opportunities available to them and ultimately help us bring down the high military spouse unemployment rate."

The Democrat senator is co-chair of the Senate Military Family Caucus and father of a Marine. He pushed for the bill after hearing from military spouses and advocates on a lack of resources for military families and the strain it puts on them.

The following is the four main areas the bill will tackle:

• Employment Opportunities

o Boosts military spouses’ competitiveness in the job market

o Supports military spouse entrepreneurship

• Continuing Education and Training

o Instructs the Department of Defense to expand educational opportunities for military spouses

• Childcare

o 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

o Provides military spouses with training and resources to ease their families’ transitions to civilian life

Read the full bill below:

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