Governor O'Malley Signs Bill to Support Military Families


“Good Neighbor Policy” Supports Military Transferees and Families Moving Out of State

BALTIMORE (5/22/08) – Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation Secretary Thomas E. Perez today applauded Governor Martin O’Malley’s signing of legislation that will allow a spouse of military personnel to collect unemployment benefits if the military requires the couple to transfer out of Maryland.

By amending state law to differentiate between the choice to move and the necessity to move because of a spouse’s mandatory transfer, the State of Maryland is recognizing the reality of military employment. The new law brings Maryland in line with policy already practiced in a majority of states. Only seven other states deny benefits to military spouses transferring out of state.

“As we prepare to welcome thousands of new people to Maryland with the base realignment, we are sending the message that we will do the same for Maryland residents transferring elsewhere that many other states do for their residents transferring to Maryland,” Secretary Perez said. “This good neighbor policy ensures that people who are required by the military to move out of state will be able to maintain enough income to care for themselves and their families while they get settled in their new homes.”

In Fiscal Year 2007, more than 300 people were denied unemployment benefits after voluntarily quitting a job to follow a military spouse transferred out of state. Maryland is scheduled to gain thousands of new jobs directly from the Base Realignment and Closure, and there are also jobs currently in Maryland that are being transferred elsewhere. This new law will provide a safety net for families that must leave Maryland to follow those jobs. Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Anthony Brown strongly supported this legislation and appreciate other states that already have similar policies in place that will support families moving to Maryland.

Communications and Media Relations Contact Information

Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation Press Release