Jason Hall, CEO of Greater St. Louis, Inc., issued the following statement after the Illinois Senate’s passage of HB 2776, a bill that pursues continued progress in licensure portability for military members and their spouses.
Today, the Illinois Senate gave approval to HB 2776, a bill that pursues continued progress in licensure portability for military members and their spouses, which the Department of Defense (DoD) specifically called for in its recent review of Scott Air Force Base. This bill is another step toward lowering workforce barriers for military members and their spouses and will help Scott Air Force Base attract new missions to Southwestern Illinois. On behalf of the St. Louis metro business community, we applaud the entire Southwestern Illinois delegation for their leadership on this much-needed policy change, specifically, St. Louis metro legislators and bill sponsors Senator Christopher Belt (D-East St. Louis) and Representative LaToya Greenwood (D-East St. Louis). We also want to thank St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern for initiating the work on this important legislation. We encourage the Illinois House to pass HB 2776 without delay and look forward to continuing our work in reducing workforce barriers.
Background – In 2020, St. Clair County, Ill., submitted a proposal to become the home of the United States Space Command (USSPACECOM) Headquarters. Unfortunately, St. Clair County was informed they would not be a finalist in the USSPACECOM competition, in large part because of obstacles surrounding support for military members and their families. One of the weaknesses was Illinois’ licensure portability laws. HB 2776 takes steps towards addressing this problem. Scott Air Force Base is the largest employer in Southwestern Illinois, employing over 13,000 civilian and military personnel.