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Michelle Obama attends Chicago Military Family Licensing Act signing

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Barack Obama is getting a boost from his home state of Illinois with the governor's endorsement of an administration effort to support military veterans and their spouses.

Gov. Pat Quinn on Tuesday signed the Military Family Licensing Act into law. First lady Michelle Obama attended the signing ceremony at an Illinois National Guard armory in Chicago. The law helps veterans and their spouses transfer occupational licenses issued in other states to Illinois more easily.

Just before the ceremony Obama told service members and their families that the legislation would let more military spouses advance their careers and keep earning money to support their families.

"So many others who simply want to provide for their families and get back to the careers that they love, but far too often they're stuck in a web of bureaucracy," she said.

The Obama administration is trying to make it easier for military families moving from state to state. Illinois is the 23rd state to adopt such legislation.

Lobbying for military families has been one of Mrs. Obama's priorities and earlier this year, she and Dr. Jill Biden asked the country's governors to improve job ability in their states.

"It is amazing that we have somebody here for us, to have a voice in the government instead of not having a voice, and now we finally have a voice," said Melissa Brennick, military wife.

The bill signing was sandwiched between two fundraising events that brought the first lady back to her hometown for the day. The first event was a luncheon at the Standard Club organized by Women for Obama. About 500 people attended and tickets started at $250. Dolton native and Glee star Jane Lynch co-hosted.

"Just to remind everybody what the president has done especially in terms of women and how important it is for our children, especially the girls to know that there is so many opportunities for them, and it should be equal to that of boys. It was a great rallying cry," Lynch said.

Mrs. Obama is wrapping up the day with a second fund-raiser hosted by Gym 44, the campaign fundraising arm for young adults. Tickets started at $44 and went up to $4,000.

"I'm here to get information about the Obama campaign and hear Michelle Obama speak and get the people excited about voting in November," said Camille Titus.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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