Rep. Lizzie Dickerson, D-Rockland, announced July 12 two new laws to help veterans and their spouses go to work after military service.

One new law will help expedite the professional licensing process for veterans and their spouses. Applicants often face waits of multiple weeks when transferring licenses from another state or applying for a new license.

“If someone goes overseas and serves their country, the least we can do for them is get the red tape out of the way so that they can get back to work,” said Dickerson. “This new law will go a long ways toward easing the transition back to civilian life.”

Retired Col. Harold Cooney testified in support of the bill on behalf of the United States Office of the Secretary of Defense. Cooney reiterated that veterans often have a hard time getting post-service employment because of delays in receiving professional licensing.

“The language will certainly help our transitioning service members and military spouses in obtaining state licenses and quickly finding work,” said Cooney.

The measure would also make veterans who are nonresident students eligible for in-state tuition at any state school.

The other new law makes it easier for lobstermen who are returning from tours of duty to keep their lobstering license by ensuring that the license doesn’t expire while they are away.

“Those who harvest lobsters and also serve in the military shouldn’t lose the opportunity to earn a living when they come home,” Dickerson said. “Putting their license on hold for them so that it’s there when they return is the least we can do.”

Dickerson cited other laws that were passed to help veterans, including a bill extending tuition waivers to children of veterans, a measure that waves hunting license fees for disabled veterans and a bill that provides transportation to disabled veterans to and from doctors’ appointments.