A Senate bill introduced Tuesday aims to reduce military spouse unemployment by addressing persistent issues surrounding frequent moves, federal hiring practices and child care availability.

While many of the provisions of the bill call for further study of perennial problems for spouses, some aspects could could offer solutions sooner, if the bill becomes law.

It’s difficult to quantify the rate of unemployment among military spouses, but a number of surveys have estimated it to be “between 12 to 25 percent, which is 3 to 6 or 7 times higher than the national average,” said the bill’s author, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and co-chair of the Senate Military Family Caucus.

Kaine said he hopes the bill will be considered by the Senate Armed Services Committee as part of its defense authorization bill for the fiscal year 2019.

“If we can make their path a little easier, it’s a good thing for military readiness, family happiness, and it keeps people in the military longer if they know their spouse continues to have opportunities,” he said.

The bill would:

Increase access to federal jobs. Federal hiring authority would expand so that federal agencies can hire military spouses faster. Agencies could noncompetitively appoint a qualified spouse of an active-duty service member, something that’s now allowed only if the spouse is relocating, and pending other limitations.