As states seek ways to improve occupational licensure portability for out-of-state workers, “universal licensure recognition” laws have gained popularity. Since 2019, eight states have either implemented new or reworked existing license portability policies that may be defined under the universal licensure recognition model. The model generally sets less restrictive and more uniform licensure portability standards across most or all licensed occupations within the state.
As the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread quickly throughout the United States, it became readily apparent to state leaders that health care workforce capacities might be overwhelmed. Many states provisionally amended occupational licensure policies to reduce regulatory burdens and increase the capacity of hospitals. Non-health care occupations also were temporarily relieved of certain licensing requirements, especially those reliant on in-person services such as continuing education. All 50 states and Washington D.C. passed some licensure streamlining actions in 2020, typically through executive orders and administrative rule changes. These changes are analyzed in a recent policy report by The Council of State Governments (CSG) researchers: “Assessing COVID-19 Occupational Licensing Policy Actions”.Continue reading “State Outlook: Occupational Licensing Policies in the COVID-19 Era”
As states assess ways to improve the occupational licensure policy process, the use of “sunrise reviews” has garnered renewed interest. A sunrise review is a specific, data-informed analysis completed before proposed regulations are considered by a state legislature. The result is better information about the proposed benefits, and potential drawbacks, of the considered regulation. For occupational licensing policy, this review allows states to consider the economic and public safety effects that licensure affords. The Council of State Governments (CSG) has identified 14 states that maintain a process for occupational licensure sunrise reviews: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.Continue reading “Sunrise Review Processes by State”
Comparing Military Fee Waivers for Licensed Occupations
Military service members, their spouses, and veterans, are among those disproportionately impacted by occupational licensure policy. With frequent interstate relocations and a propensity for employment in licensed occupations, this population is particularly affected by licensure fees, which must be paid to keep a license active or upon each relocation to a new state.Continue reading “Comparing Military Fee Waivers for Licensed Occupations”
In February, the United States Air Force released new criteria-based framework for its basing decision evaluation process that assesses state occupational licensing policies for supporting military families. The initiative by the Air Force is part of a larger trend by state policy makers and the departments of the military to facilitate interstate migration by military families and lower barriers to employment caused by occupational licensing.Continue reading “U.S. Air Force to Evaluate State Occupational Licensing Policies for Future Basing Decisions”
- The COVID-19 crisis has resulted in shortages of qualified, licensed health care and other related professions that are needed to support state and local responses.
- States have been enacting measures to modify existing licensing regulations that remove barriers that may prevent an individual to assist in response efforts.
- Many states have been granting temporary licensure for out-of-state professionals or those that are otherwise retired, still in training, or have lapsed licenses.
- Certain health care practitioners in some states are being granted expanded scopes of practice.
- Other states are removing barriers to allow for greater use of telemedicine services.
- States are also waiving or suspending certain requirements related to the maintenance or attainment of licenses where they might require physical travel, interactions or might otherwise be difficult to achieve during the crisis.
Legislation recently introduced in Wisconsin could change the way the state studies proposed occupational licensing regulations. Sponsored by Senator Chris Kapenga and Representative Rob Hutton, Senate Bill 541 calls for the establishment of a sunrise review process that would formally require certain information to be collected and analyzed during the legislative process.Continue reading “Wisconsin Considering Sunrise Legislation”
On November 13th, The Council of State Governments, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Governor’s Association, and representatives from the states participating in the Occupational Licensing Policy Learning Consortium were on hand to share some of the successes stemming from the multi-year, Department of Labor funded project. The event saw over 60 individuals in attendance, representing a variety of public and nonprofit policy organizations.Continue reading “Consortium States Present Occupational Licensure Reform Successes at Washington D.C. Briefing”
Nevada hosted its 2019 Occupational Licensing Policy and Practice Learning Consortium In-State meeting on Sept. 6 in Las Vegas. The state’s Occupational Licensing Consortium Core Team of legislators, executive branch employees and regulatory board members convened to review this year’s progress and plan for future success. The Nevada officials were joined by representatives from The Council of State Governments, the National Conference of State Legislatures and the National Governor’s association to provide technical assistance and facilitation.Continue reading “Nevada Reviews Legislative Success and Licensing Reform at In-State Consortium Meeting”
On Sept. 3, 2019, Virginia became the first state to fully digitize its professional licensing and credentialing system. Many professions take advantage of current technology to offer digital copies of licenses and certifications, but before September, no state offered universal electronic licensing. Through a partnership between the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation and the free online credentialing service, Merit, all licensed professionals in Virginia will be able to receive a digital copy of their license. According to the 2018-2020 Virginia appropriations bill, electronic licenses now satisfy any statute or regulation that requires credentials to be posted, displayed or produced.Continue reading “Virginia Becomes First State to Fully Digitize Professional Licensing”