Iowa committee recommends eliminating, consolidating over 100 boards, commissions: 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. This week in regulatory news, a review committee proposes eliminating or consolidating over 100 boards and commissions in Iowa, Missouri passes two new laws addressing workforce shortages, and more.

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Addressing workforce shortages in Missouri: Week in Brief
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Iowa committee recommends eliminating, consolidating over 100 boards, commissions

Iowa’s Boards and Commissions Review Committee has proposed that nearly half of the state’s commissions and boards should be eliminated or consolidated. The committee reviewed approximately 250 boards and commissions throughout the state, with written input from the boards themselves, and recommended 116 of these for elimination or consolidation. These recommendations, however, are not final and would not take effect for some time.  

Department of Management Director Kraig Paulsen, who chaired the committee, said the group made recommendations based on whether the boards were “effective and serving Iowans.” The committee itself was created by a government reorganization law signed by Gov. Kim Reynolds during this year’s legislative session that also reduced the number of department-level agencies and eliminated hundreds of vacant state job positions.  

Iowa Sen. Janice Weiner, a non-voting member of the committee, expressed some concerns about the transparency of the process, noting that the six-member board was divided into two-member subcommittees that could meet privately. Public hearings will be held this week, and the panel is set to make its final recommendation to the legislature by the end of September. Congress will then decide which recommendations to pass during next year’s session. Read more at the Sioux City Journal. 

Missouri passes laws to address health care workforce shortages

Missouri Governor Mike Parson recently signed two bills intended to address workforce shortages in several industries throughout the state with a particular focus on the health care field. According to Rep. Jeff Coleman, many of the new rules are simply cementing temporary policy changes that took effect at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, Gov. Parson at that time lifted restrictions on license mobility for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses – a move that has been codified by SB 70.  

The other bill, SB 157, establishes a grant program for medical providers that create new medical residency positions in Missouri. This provision is intended to keep doctoral graduates in the state, as many of them leave for residency and do not come back. Kathy Pabst, executive director of the Missouri Academy of Family Physicians, said the state only has about 1,300 primary care residency positions, in contrast to the 4,500 students who graduate medical school in the state each year. 

SB 70 adopts the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, the Counseling Interstate Compact, and the Social Work Licensure Compact. This includes the creation of a commission for each of the compacts that will oversee their enforcement and establish coordinated databases containing information on license status, investigative actions, and disciplinary measures for licensees in all member states. Read more at The Fulton Sun. 

FAA investigates pilots over claims of falsified medical records

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating nearly 5,000 pilots who are suspected of falsifying medical records to cover up conditions that could make them unfit to fly. The investigation started two years ago when the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) found that some pilots who were military veterans had been collecting benefits for disabilities that would normally disqualify them from flying.  

According to FAA spokesman Matthew Lehner, the agency opened cases against about 4,800 pilots, about 600 of whom are licensed to fly for passenger airlines, while the rest predominately hold licenses to fly for hire. Roughly 60 of these pilots have been ordered to cease flying on an emergency basis until their records are fully reviewed. The FAA relies on aviators to self-report medical conditions that would be difficult to detect in a medical setting – conditions like depression or PTSD.  

Many of the veterans involved are suspected to be exaggerating these conditions to the VA but minimizing them to the FAA. The FAA has allotted $3.6 million to the hiring of new staff to re-examine certification records for the pilots under investigation, and the VA Inspector General is considering sending many of these cases to the Justice Department to face charges of defrauding the benefits system. Read more at The Washington Post. 

New law offers pathway to electrician licensure for military personnel

The New Hampshire General Court recently passed House Bill 2, which creates a new path for veterans and service members with certain military training and experience to obtain licensure as electricians in the state. The Office of Professional Licensure and Certification (OPLC) Electricians’ Board will now have the authority to recognize electrician training completed during military service for the purpose of issuing a license to a master or journeyman electrician applicant.  

Under the new rules, veterans and service members must pass an OPLC examination and demonstrate completion of 8,000 hours of service as an apprentice electrician to qualify for licensure. Though many states currently accept military experience for occupational licensing, New Hampshire is one of the first to formally accept military training and experience alone for licensure as an electrician.  

Proponents believe the bill will help remove barriers to those entering the workforce in high-demand fields. According to New Hampshire Adjutant Gen. David Mikolaities, the new legislation will create new opportunities for military members and veterans while also improving the talent pool for employers and overall promoting economic stability within the state. Read more at New Hampshire Business Review. 

Australian report offers recommendations for net-zero transition 

Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers recently announced as part of the country’s sixth Intergenerational Report that climate change could cost the nation’s economy as much as $400 billion over the next 40 years. The report – a 300-page analysis of Australia’s economy and culture – concluded that reaching net-zero emissions would be crucial in ensuring a safe and sustainable future for the country. 

Cassandra Winzar, chief economist for the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA), said the 2023 version of the Intergenerational Report was the first to take climate change seriously as an issue. Stakeholders believe harmonizing occupational licensing rules in the clean energy industry and increasing access to training will be key in ensuring a smooth transition to net-zero emissions.  

As the transition unfolds, demand for exports such as thermal coal is expected to decline, but demand for Australia’s critical minerals resources, which are integral to clean energy production, could increase eightfold. Chalmers told ABC Radio multinational tax reform would be important in establishing a reliable base of revenue for the country moving forward. Read more at Yahoo! News. 

Canadian census data shows IEHPs most highly employed in Newfoundland and Labrador

A Statistics Canada report recently found that internationally educated health care professionals (IEHPs) were most likely to be employed in health care professions in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Saskatchewan. These three provinces reported the highest proportions – 74 percent, 68 percent, and 67 percent, respectively – of IEHPs working in the health care industry. 

Nearly half of Canada’s total IEHPs, however, were found to be residing in Ontario, the country’s most populous province. Of the IEHPs working in Canada’s health care professions, about one-third had studied nursing, while approximately 15 percent were trained as physicians. At the provincial level, Prince Edward Island reported the highest proportion of IEHPs working as nurses at 53 percent. 

The study, which used census data from 2021, also found that roughly seven in 10 IEHPs working in the country were women under the age of 50. For more information about the report’s findings, as well as details regarding the various pathways to licensure for internationally trained workers in the health care professions, visit Canada Immigration News. 

More news:

  • Medical professionals in South Dakota are expressing concern over the state’s lack of regulation for IV hydration clinics, which have become increasingly popular for individuals looking to treat hangovers, jet lag, and other ailments with ingredients like Vitamin C, magnesium, and folic acid. Some argue that these facilities currently lack the oversight necessary to ensure sterile environments and adequate infection control for the safety of their clients. 
  • A new start-up is offering a novel way for pre-licensed clinicians to complete their supervised work experience requirements. Motivo, an online platform that connects aspiring mental health care professionals with supervisors via video conferencing, is working to smooth the pathway from graduation to licensure as states like California experience increasing rates of mental illness, particularly among individuals with incomes below the poverty level. 
  • A woman from Crown Point, Indiana, is facing federal charges of health care fraud and aggravated identity theft over allegations that she impersonated a licensed psychologist in order to run an illicit psychology clinic and seek reimbursement payments from Indiana Medicaid and other insurance providers totaling over $135,000 over two years. 

Also noteworthy:

Interesting opinion, commentary, and analysis from the web:

Disclaimer: The thoughts, opinions, and commentary of the articles we share links to in Week in Brief do not necessarily reflect those of Ascend Magazine or Thentia. 

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Iowa committee recommends eliminating, consolidating over 100 boards, commissions: 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.
This week in regulatory news, a review committee proposes eliminating or consolidating over 100 boards and commissions in Iowa, Missouri passes two new laws addressing workforce shortages, and more.

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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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Alabama
Review commission identifies barriers to entry for Virginia teachers: 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.
This week in regulatory news, a review commission identifies barriers to licensure amidst Virginia’s statewide teacher shortage, a U.K. architecture board recommends reforming educational requirements, and more.