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Baker Aims To Smooth License Transfers For Military Families

More than 37,000 American flags were planted at the annual Massachusetts Military Heroes Flag Planting at the Boston Common in May 2020. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
More than 37,000 American flags were planted at the annual Massachusetts Military Heroes Flag Planting at the Boston Common in May 2020. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Gov. Charlie Baker signed an executive order Wednesday to ensure military personnel and their spouses are receiving the proper support to continue their careers in Massachusetts once transferred here by expediting review and portability of professional licenses.

The order directs the Division of Professional Licensure to work with individual licensing boards to explore whether Massachusetts should join any interstate licensing compacts to improve portability of licensing, and to ensure the timely processing of license transfer applications.

Baker directed the DPL to focus on licensing requirements for physical therapists, accountants, engineers, psychologists, barbers and cosmetologists. Those careers were identified by the United States Air Force as priorities, according to the administration.

"Through this Executive Order, our goal is to make the process of transferring professional licenses simpler and more expedient for military personnel and their spouses arriving in Massachusetts," Baker said in a statement. "I want to thank the Department of Defense and the Air Force for their leadership on this important issue and I look forward to finding new ways to help the members of the Armed Forces across all branches and their families as they start the next chapter of their lives in the Commonwealth."

The order instructs the division to work with licensing boards to make sure license applications from transferring military personnel and their spouses are processed within 30 days. The division also faces a deadline of July 1, 2021 to report on its progress and whether Massachusetts should increase its participation in interstate compacts.

Massachusetts has six military installations: Barnes Air National Guard Base,?Fort Devens, Hanscom Air Force Base, Joint Base Cape Cod, the U.S. Army's Natick Soldier Systems Center, and Westover Air Reserve Base.

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