Arizona universal licensing law boosts state GDP, employment: Weekly regulatory news 
The Week in Brief is your weekly snapshot of regulatory news and what's happening in the world of professional licensing, government technology, and public policy. Ontario legal regulator sues exam prep company over leaked bar examination questions, occupational licensing reform bills become law in Missouri and Louisiana, and more in this week’s look at regulatory news.

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Louisiana occupational licensing reform bills could prevent arbitrary roadblocks and hurdles

The Louisiana House of Representatives unanimously approved two occupational licensing reform bills aimed at reducing licensing hurdles for Louisiana workers. HB 1062, or the ‘Right to Earn a Living Act,’ would require occupational licensing boards and commissions to justify their rules and regulations based on public health, safety, welfare, or a fiduciary duty (such as with accounting) and would give Louisianans the ability to challenge those rules in court. The second piece of legislation, HB 639, will allow felons to petition state licensing boards for a determination on licensing eligibility before participating in school or training. Both bills now head to Gov. John Bel Edwards for signature. Read more from KPVI News.

New study finds Arizona universal licensing law boosts state GDP, employment

A new study by the Common Sense Institute Arizona (CSI) finds that Arizona’s universal licensing law is projected to increase employment in Arizona by nearly 16,000 workers, boost state GDP by $1.5 billion, and increase the state’s population of working age adults. In 2019, Arizona became the first state to recognize all occupational licenses – without restriction or precondition – when Gov. Doug Ducey signed into law HB 2569, which requires state licensing agencies to recognize an equivalent certification issued by another state and issue a reciprocal license to practice in Arizona. CSI, a research think tank dedicated to facilitating dynamic economic policies, estimates that HB 2569 will result in 2,361 universal licenses issued annually, and approximately half of those will be in the healthcare services and construction sectors where Arizona has experienced severe labor shortages. Read more from Chamber Business News.

Ontario legal regulator sues exam prep company over leaked bar examination questions

The Law Society of Ontario (LSO) is suing NCA Exam Guru and its principal Aamer Chaudhry for allegedly providing documents to clients that would allow them to cheat on licensing exams. The lawsuit is part of an ongoing investigation following the discovery of a potential leak of the online barrister and solicitor examinations. To preserve the integrity of the exam during the ongoing investigation, the LSO cancelled the March bar exam, postponed the June exams to July, and stopped online assessments.

NCA Exam Guru offers preparation courses for licensing examinations. The LSO alleges that the company, without authorization, obtained and provided to those enrolled in its preparation courses documents containing questions from the licensing examinations. The company also shared documents containing answers to questions. Chaudhry and NCA Exam Guru deny the LSO allegations and plan to vigorously defend the claim in court. Read more from The Law Times.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signs several occupational licensing bills into law

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has signed several occupational licensing bills into law. Among the new legislation is HB 2149, which modifies certain provisions like exempting military employees and contractors who are participating in the Innovative Readiness Training from occupational licensing requirements if they have licensing from another state, and SB 987, which allows gambling boats to be located within 1,000 feet of the main channel of the Missouri or Mississippi Rivers if they have the approval of the Missouri Gaming Commission. Read more on the new laws from KFVS News.

Personal data of 2 million leaked in cyberattack on Massachusetts healthcare group

The sensitive information of two million people was accessed during a cyberattack on Shields Health Care Group, a Massachusetts-based healthcare organization that provides services to dozens of hospitals and other medical facilities. Hackers were in the organization’s systems from March 7 to March 21, and during this period they gained access to databases that contained full names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, home addresses, provider information, diagnosis, billing information, insurance numbers and information, medical record numbers, patient IDs, and other medical or treatment information. Read more about the incident from The Record.

Senators introduce comprehensive bipartisan bill to regulate cryptocurrencies

A bipartisan pair of senators looking to establish a clear federal regulatory structure for digital assets recently introduced the most comprehensive cryptocurrency legislation on Capitol Hill to date. Sens. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) — authors of the Responsible Financial Innovation Act — say their goal is to make consumers more comfortable with a growing industry that is still foreign to many Americans. Key provisions in the legislation would, for the first time, define the blockchain and digital asset industries and designate the Commodity Futures Trading Commission as the regulatory agency with spot market jurisdiction over all fungible digital assets that are not securities. Read more from NBC News.

Other news:

  • Four days before jury selection was to begin for his trial, a chiropractor from St. George, Utah entered a no contest plea to two second-degree felony counts for forcible sexual abuse and three misdemeanor counts of sexual battery. The case was initiated in August 2019 following an investigation into a number of reports of alleged sexual misconduct by the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing.
  • A former insurance agent was arrested in Ohio in connection with multiple federal fraud charges. Seneca Birchmore, who lost his insurance license in 2019, was arrested on complaints related to misuse of social security number, aggravated identity theft and fraud in connection with major disaster and emergency benefits.

Also noteworthy:

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IN BRIEF

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Ariel Visconti
Written byAriel Visconti
Ariel Visconti researches and writes on government and politics, regulation, occupational licensing, and emerging technologies.

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