Judge dismisses lawsuit against Louisiana regulators: 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. A federal judge dismisses a Louisiana woman’s lawsuit alleging the state unconstitutionally barred her from offering life-skills training to special needs children in our latest weekly roundup of regulatory news.

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Arizona is first state to offer digital driver’s license on iPhone

Apple announced this week that Arizonans will be the first U.S. citizens who can use their Apple Wallet, accessible on iPhones and Apple Watches, to “seamlessly and securely” present ID at TSA checkpoints in Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Users can also consent to providing information through biometric applications like Face ID or Touch ID, providing an added layer of security to the process. Other states slated to employ the technology include Georgia, Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah. Read more at The Hill.

Lawsuit challenging Louisiana’s professional licensing provisions dismissed

A federal judge dismissed a Louisiana social worker’s lawsuit alleging unconstitutional restrictions on her providing life-skills instruction to special-needs children. The lawsuit argues against the constitutionality of the Louisiana Department of Health’s facility need review (FNR) provision, which requires service providers to establish that there is a legitimate need for their service in an area. Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown of the Eastern District of Louisiana decided in an opinion that the provision does not violate the 14th amendment. Read more at the Louisiana Record.

Utah passes new law to prevent new occupational licenses

Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed a bill on Thursday intended to stop the state from imposing new regulatory burdens on occupations in the state. The “sunrise review” process, adopted by the state in 1999, is designed to provide legislators with the unbiased information and analysis they need to make better decisions. Governor Cox’s bill would transfer sunrise review authority to a single dedicated office within the Department of Commerce. Proponents of the bill argue that current licensing restrictions protect industry insiders from outside competition, and that the new law would allow more licensees, benefitting consumers within the state. Read more in Forbes.

DOT seeks staff increases to help issue new trucking regulations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is looking to boost full-time staffing levels by about 8.3% in fiscal year 2013, according to the White House’s recently released budget request. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), meanwhile, is requesting a 20% increase in staffing. NHTSDA Deputy Administrator Steven Cliff said at a media briefing on Monday that the positions are intended to expedite the making of new rules within these agencies. These rules include updates to safety protocols, provisions regarding automatic emergency braking, and regulations on autonomous driving systems. The budget request would provide $874 million for FMCSA and $1.59 billion for NHTSA. Read more at FreightWaves.

3 more Arizona massage therapists lose licenses after sexual misconduct allegations

State regulators revoked the licenses of three Arizona massage therapists this week after receiving complaints of sexual misconduct against them. This penalty comes on the heels of a Republic investigation in September finding that the Arizona State Board of Massage Therapy finding that the board regularly gave therapists second chances when accused of sexual misconduct in their practice. One of the therapists penalized this week is Gary Patrick Kahl, who voluntarily surrendered his license after the board received a complaint about a “consensual” relationship he had with one of his clients. Read more at AZcentral.  

State agency takes action on alleged gambling locations in Anchorage

Alaska’s Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing is taking action against illegal gambling operations in the state in response to an investigation from Alaska’s News Source. The investigation alleges that West Side Arcade, located in Anchorage, operates as a front for illegal gambling. Two individuals possibly involved with the operation were found to have been arrested in connection with a 2006 shooting at an anchorage football stadium. Both persons of interest were later fully acquitted in the case. Read more about the investigation and the state’s response in Alaska’s News Source.

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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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