H.R. 2413 (107th): Military Spouse Employment Assistance Act of 2001

107th Congress, 2001–2002. Text as of Jun 28, 2001 (Introduced).

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HR 2413 IH

107th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 2413

To amend title 10, United States Code, to establish a program of employment assistance, including employment-related tuition assistance, for military spouses.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

June 28, 2001

Mr. RILEY (for himself, Mrs. TAUSCHER, Ms. MCKINNEY, Mr. KENNEDY of Rhode Island, Mr. FROST, Mr. MCGOVERN, Mr. EVANS, Mr. LANGEVIN, Mr. GIBBONS, Mr. SIMMONS, and Mrs. JONES of Ohio) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Armed Services


A BILL

To amend title 10, United States Code, to establish a program of employment assistance, including employment-related tuition assistance, for military spouses.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) SHORT TITLE- This Act may be cited as the ‘Military Spouse Employment Assistance Act of 2001’.

    (b) TABLE OF CONTENTS- The table of contents of this Act is as follows:

      Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

      Sec. 2. Military spouse employment financial assistance program.

      Sec. 3. Department of Defense employment and training opportunities.

      Sec. 4. Encouragement of Federal partnerships in support of military spouse employment.

      Sec. 5. Encouragement of private-sector employment of military spouses.

      Sec. 6. Employment of military spouses by defense contractors.

      Sec. 7. Effective date.

SEC. 2. MILITARY SPOUSE EMPLOYMENT FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.

    (a) AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE SPECIFIED FORMS OF FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO MILITARY SPOUSES- (1) Chapter 88 of title 10, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 1784 the following new section:

‘Sec. 1784a. Spouse employment financial assistance program

    ‘(a) ESTABLISHMENT OF PROGRAM- The Secretary of Defense may conduct a program to provide financial assistance to military spouses to assist them in gaining employment. As part of such a program, the Secretary may carry out a program of tuition assistance for military spouses pursuing a program of employment-related education or training.

    ‘(b) MILITARY SPOUSE DEFINED- In this section, the term ‘military spouse’ means the spouse of a member of the armed forces on active duty.

    ‘(c) PROGRAM GOALS- The Secretary shall prescribe specific goals for the program under this section. Those goals shall include goals for improvements in retention for married members of the armed forces on active duty attributable to improvements in family income of those members and resulting improvements in the quality of life of those members and their families.

    ‘(d) TYPES OF FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE- Under the program, the Secretary may provide financial assistance for military spouses for one or more of the following purposes, as specified in regulations prescribed under this section:

      ‘(1) Career-related education, in accordance with subsection (e).

      ‘(2) Certification and license fees for employment-related purposes.

      ‘(3) Apprenticeships and internships.

      ‘(4) Technical training.

      ‘(5) Training to improve job skills.

      ‘(6) Career counseling.

      ‘(7) Skills assessment.

      ‘(8) Job-search skills.

      ‘(9) Job-related transportation.

      ‘(10) Child care.

      ‘(11) Any additional employment-related purpose specified in the regulations prescribed under subsection (g).

    ‘(e) TUITION ASSISTANCE- Financial assistance under subsection (d)(1) for career-related education shall be provided through a tuition assistance program offering benefits similar to those provided under the tuition assistance program for members of the armed forces under section 2007 of this title that will improve education and employment opportunities for military spouses.

    ‘(f) COORDINATION WITH OTHER PROGRAMS- The Secretary shall ensure that the provisions of this section are carried out in coordination with other programs of the Department of Defense (including the relocation assistance program under section 1056 of this title) under which employment-related assistance may be provided to spouses of members of the armed forces.

    ‘(g) REGULATIONS- The Secretary of Defense shall prescribe regulations for the purposes of the program under this section. In those regulations, the Secretary shall specify the following:

      ‘(1) Eligibility for financial assistance under the program , including eligibility for tuition assistance under subsection (e).

      ‘(2) The types of assistance that may be provided.

      ‘(3) The maximum amount of such assistance that may be provided for each of the types of assistance specified under subsection (d).

    ‘(h) INITIAL IMPLEMENTATION ON PILOT BASIS- (1) During the first three fiscal years during which the program under this section is carried out, the program shall be conducted on a pilot basis in a limited number of geographic areas, including bases overseas, for the purpose of evaluating different program options and program effectiveness.

    ‘(2) The Secretary shall conduct an evaluation of the program at the mid-term point of the pilot program period under paragraph (1) and at the conclusion of the pilot program period. Each such evaluation shall assess the success of the program, including the success of the program in meeting the goals specified for the program. The Secretary shall submit a report on each such evaluation to the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate and the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives.’.

    (2) The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 1784 the following new item:

      ‘1784a. Spouse employment financial assistance program.’.

    (b) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- There is authorized to be appropriated for the military spouse employment assistance program under section 1784a of title 10, United States Code, as added by subsection (a), a total of $12,000,000 for the first three fiscal years during which the program is in operation.

    (c) INITIAL LOCATIONS- The Secretary shall specify the specific locations, including bases overseas, at which the military spouse employment assistance program under section 1784a of title 10, United States Code, as added by subsection (a), is to be conducted for the period under subsection (h) of that section during which the program is to be conducted on a pilot basis.

SEC. 3. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES.

    (a) REVIEW OF DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE POLICIES- The Secretary of Defense shall review Department of Defense policies that affect employment opportunities for military spouses in the Department of Defense in order to maximize those opportunities. The review shall include the consideration of providing, to the extent authorized by law, separate spouse preferences for employment by appropriated and nonappropriated fund operations.

    (b) SPACE-AVAILABLE USE OF DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE FACILITIES FOR TRAINING PURPOSES- Section 1784 of title 10, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

    ‘(d) SPACE-AVAILABLE USE OF FACILITIES FOR TRAINING PURPOSES- The Secretary of Defense shall take such steps as appropriate to maximize opportunities for spouses of members of the armed forces to be provided employment-related training in Department of Defense facilities on a space-available basis during normal duty hours and during other periods when those facilities are not being fully utilized.’.

SEC. 4. ENCOURAGEMENT OF FEDERAL PARTNERSHIPS IN SUPPORT OF MILITARY SPOUSE EMPLOYMENT.

    Section 1784 of title 10, United States Code, as amended by section 3(b), is further amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

    ‘(e) EMPLOYMENT BY OTHER FEDERAL AGENCIES- The Secretary of Defense shall work with the Director of the Office of Personnel Management and the heads of other Federal departments and agencies to facilitate the appropriate use of existing Federal programs and resources in support of military spouse employment.’.

SEC. 5. ENCOURAGEMENT OF PRIVATE-SECTOR EMPLOYMENT OF MILITARY SPOUSES.

    Section 1784 of title 10, United States Code, as amended by section 4, is further amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

    ‘(f) PRIVATE-SECTOR EMPLOYMENT- The Secretary of Defense--

      ‘(1) shall seek to develop partnerships with firms in the private sector to enhance employment opportunities for spouses of members of the armed forces and to provide for improved job portability for such spouses, especially in the case of the spouse of a member of the armed forces accompanying the member to a new geographical area because of a change of permanent duty station of the member; and

      ‘(2) shall work with the United States Chamber of Commerce and other appropriate private-sector entities to facilitate the formation of such partnerships.’.

SEC. 6. EMPLOYMENT OF MILITARY SPOUSES BY DEFENSE CONTRACTORS.

    Section 1784 of title 10, United States Code, as amended by section 5, is further amended adding at the end the following new subsection:

    ‘(g) EMPLOYMENT WITH DEFENSE CONTRACTORS- The Secretary of Defense shall prescribe regulation to ensure, to the extent practicable, that private-sector entities, in hiring for work to be performed on a contract with the Department of Defense, provide preference to qualified spouses of members of the armed forces and other employment opportunities for such spouses in the same manner as is provided for positions in the Department of Defense under subsection (b).’.

SEC. 7. EFFECTIVE DATE.

    The amendments made by this Act shall take effect on October 1, 2001.