Bill could dismiss Texas-Iowa licensing lawsuit: 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. Dubai takes the lead on crypto regulation, an Iowa social worker surrenders her license after accusations of sexual misconduct, and more in our weekly look at regulatory news.

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Bill could lead to dismissal of licensing lawsuit for Iowa threaders

A soon-to-be-signed bill could result in the dismissal of a lawsuit against the state of Iowa over its licensing laws. Iowa’s House and Senate unanimously passed a bill that would remove threaders from the law requiring licensure for hair removal. If the bill is signed into law, it will effectively nullify the court case. In December, a Texas company filed a civil rights lawsuit against the state for requiring hair-threading professionals to undergo extensive training for licensure. The company operates a threading salon in West Des Moines and deems the training requirement “useless,” according to the Iowa Capital Dispatch. The company sued Iowa’s Department of Public Health as well as the Iowa Board of Cosmetology Arts, alleging that despite threading’s relatively simple nature and lack of risk, the state imposes needlessly onerous occupational licensing requirements. A license for threading in Iowa requires 600 hours of education in esthetics at a cost of over $12,000. For comparison, an Iowa-licensed emergency medical technician requires only 110 hours of classroom instruction.

Dubai adopts first law on crypto regulation

UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rasid Al Maktoum announced on Twitter that his country adopted its first laws to regulate cryptocurrency. The new law is meant to make Dubai a vital player in the future of global virtual assets. Implementation of the law will be overseen by the Dubai Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA), which would become the regulator to oversee crypto activities and related services. Read more about the news at The Times of India and learn about its provision of a virtual asset license to Binance at Reuters.

Wisconsin policy group targets licensing backlogs

Wisconsin’s Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) has produced a policy paper that suggests reforms it says could reduce the Department of Safety and Professional Services’ (DSPS) licensing backlog. Backlogged: Licensing Delays Keep People from Entering the Workforce suggests that the DSPS has suffered processing delays of both occupational license applications and commercial plan approvals. “These delays have led to many postponing their plans to enter the workforce in the field of their choice or, worse, forgo working in Wisconsin,” report authors note. “At a time when labor shortages and demographic changes challenge Wisconsin’s workforce and economic outlook, the state cannot afford to lose workers to other states.” For more on nationwide licensing backlogs, read this.

Social worker surrenders license after allegations of inappropriate conduct

A social worker in Iowa has surrendered her license after being accused of having a sexual relationship with a client. In 2021, the Iowa Board of Social Work charged the social worker with “making suggestive, lewd, lascivious or improper remarks to a client, or making advances toward a client,” further alleging that Lake sent sexually explicit texts to the client. Under the terms of the agreement with the board, the social worker must wait at least a year before seeking reinstatement and must also show reinstatement is in the public interest. Read about it on Iowa Capital Dispatch.

Illinois looks to simplify cannabis licensure

Regulators in Illinois are working to simplify retail licensing processes for cannabis in order to meet the state’s goal of licensing 50 new adult-use cannabis dispensaries by 2023. The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) has filed new rules to streamline application processes to remove barriers for social equity applicants and expand opportunities for the communities most impacted by prohibition, according to a KHQA report. The new rules would allow applicants to apply online with basic information and a nominal fee. Applications could open later this year, depending on when the rules are finalized.

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Jordan Milian
Written byJordan Milian
Jordan Milian is a writer covering government regulation and occupational licensing for Ascend, with a professional background in journalism and marketing.


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