Illinois Nurse Licensing Act prohibits noncompete clauses: Weekly regulatory news
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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. Illinois amends its Nurse Licensing Act, Canada hints at a national digital ID program, and more in our weekly look at the world of regulation.

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New Illinois nursing legislation prohibits non-compete clauses

The Illinois state legislature recently amended its Nurse Agency Licensing Act to disallow noncompete clauses in contracts between nurses and staffing agencies. Illinois Department of Labor Acting Director Jane Flanagan said the new bill would “critically protect temporary nurses and nurse aides’ right to change jobs or get hired directly by a healthcare facility.” It includes language regarding noncompete restrictions, reporting requirements, license applications, and other aspects of nurse licensure that will change slightly under the new law. To read more about the bill, visit The National Law Review.

Canadian government hints at ideas for digital ID program

In a document announcing Canada’s “Digital Ambition,” the government quietly indicated that it will be pursuing a national digital ID program. The document states that the government will be taking steps to use digital IDs to make it easier to facilitate online government transactions. This includes the development of a “Digital Identity Program” and an “information-centric security model” to protect personal information and guard against cyberattacks. Though some critics see this as a sign of overreach and intrusion into personal privacy, many Canadian provinces have already begun exploring digital ID programs themselves. Read more at Mobile ID World.

Medical cannabis regulation moves forward in Alabama

The regulation and licensing of medical marijuana in Alabama is moving forward, thanks to new rules set and approved by the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission. The vote to move forward means the commission will be able to send out license applications as soon as late October, due by Dec. 30. With the actual licenses to be awarded next June, medical marijuana products still have a way to go before seeing store shelves – the end of 2023 is predicted to be the soonest cannabis companies can begin vending. Read more at MJBizDaily.

Saskatchewan amends marijuana laws for Indigenous settlements

Indigenous communities in Saskatchewan now have the power to regulate their own cannabis retail stores, thanks to an amendment to the province’s control laws. These on-reserve marijuana retail stores do not have to follow the normal Saskatchewan permit requirements – they simply have to provide their own oversight framework. With several retailers having operated on reserves for some time now, many see the amendment as a nudge toward indigenous communities developing their own regulatory framework. Read more at 980 CJME.

UK Government outlines vision for AI regulation

The U.K. government has released a policy paper detailing a vision for an AI regulatory framework that is both “pro-innovation” and “context-specific.” The AI Regulation Policy Paper, published July 18, created six AI governance principles that can apply to users in any sector. Though the paper does not include a plan to legislate AI regulation, the government hopes regulators can interpret its outlined principles and build a robust AI regulatory framework off of them. The principles include ensuring AI is used safely, ensuring it is technically secure, ensuring it is transparent and explainable, and much more. Read more at Mayer Brown.

Arizona expands Right-to-Try laws to include experimental medication

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has passed legislation that will expand the state’s Right-to-Try laws to include personalized medicine. The original Right-to-Try law was a historic new policy that allowed patients with terminal illnesses to seek out alternative medication upon exhausting their approved treatment options. Under the new legislation, patients in Arizona can now seek out experimental treatments like gene therapy (one type of this treatment is only available in Milan, Italy). While critics argue experimental treatments can expose patients to further harm, proponents say Right-to-Try 2.0 is an important step forward for both individuals and developments in the experimental treatments they seek. Read more at Reason.

Other news:

  • A veterinarian who had surrendered her North Carolina license in 2020 has now surrendered her license in Rhode Island. Former colleagues and patients created online petitions accusing Dr. Janine Oliver of serial abuse and neglect. After an investigation from the Rhode Island Department of Health, Oliver has given up her license.
  • State auditors have found that the Arizona State Board of Massage Therapy ignored seven prostitution complaints filed since January 2020. In fact, the board renewed the licenses of four of the seven accused practitioners. The investigation was spurred in part by an Arizona Republic investigation that found the board was ignoring complaints regarding sexual abuse.
  • A new report from the U.K.’s Law Society details a few ways neurotechnology could improve the legal profession for both employees and clients. Notably, it posits that a lawyer with a particular chip implanted in their brain could more easily scan documents, eliminating the need for large workforces to process applications and other forms. It also suggests regulating “neurorights” as this technology develops.

Also noteworthy:

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IN BRIEF

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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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