Judge throws out questions on Mass. police licensing questionnaire: 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.  Louisiana bill sets new rules for funds sitting in abandoned sports betting accounts, Massachusetts Superior Court judge throws out two questions on police officer licensing questionnaire, Louisiana governor signs two occupational licensing reform bills into law, and more in our latest Week in Brief.

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Louisiana bill sets rules for funds from abandoned sports wagering accounts

Legislation sought by Louisiana State Treasurer John M. Schroder will ensure that funds sitting in abandoned sports wagering accounts move to the state’s Unclaimed Property Fund faster. The Unclaimed Property Program currently captures abandoned PayPal, Amazon, iTunes, and eBay account balances. The new law dictates that money left in sports wagering accounts that have been forgotten after an account holder dies will be transferred into the fund after three years of account dormancy rather than five years. The Unclaimed Property Program will then work to locate the rightful claimants. Sports wagering just became legal in Louisiana in January, and the new law goes into effect on Aug. 1. Read more at Biz New Orleans.

Louisiana governor signs two occupational licensing reform bills into law

Gov. John Bel Edwards signed two bills related to occupational licensing into law, with one putting restrictions on occupational licensing regulations and another that will make it easier for ex-convicts to find out if they’re eligible for a license. House Bill 639 allows felons to petition state licensing boards for a determination on licensing eligibility before participating in school or training. House Bill 1062 (The Right to Earn a Living Act) requires occupational licensing boards and commissions to justify their rules and regulations based on public health, safety, welfare, or a fiduciary duty and gives Louisianans the ability to challenge those rules in court. Edwards also signed several other measures, including bills to create leases for wind energy, increase transparency for public schools, improve the state’s medical marijuana law, and limit the release of booking photos. Read more at Biz New Orleans.

Judge throws out two questions on Massachusetts police officer licensing questionnaire

Suffolk Superior Court Judge Jackie Cowin issued a preliminary injunction against two of the eight questions appearing on the police officers’ certification questionnaire as part of a lawsuit filed by a handful of the state’s largest police unions against the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission. The Commission has officers fill out the questionnaire to determine if they have “good moral character” as part of its licensing process. Thanks to the judge’s order, the Commission for now can’t ask cops its planned questions about whether they’ve posted anything that they “believe could be perceived as biased” or if they’ve belonged to any organization that has “unlawfully discriminated” against anyone based on race, gender, or other factors. The rest of the questions are allowed to remain, and the judge left room for the Commission to add revised questions to the questionnaire as long as they meet constitutional requirements. Read more from the Boston Herald.

Canadian attorney asks Supreme Court for permission to practice in Tennessee

An attorney is asking the Tennessee Supreme Court to step in after the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners (TBLE) repeatedly denied her request to transfer her bar score to Tennessee so she could practice law in the state. Violaine Panasci, a dual citizen and resident of Nashville who attended college and law school in Canada, previously earned an LL.M. degree at Pace University in New York, where she passed the Uniform Bar Exam (which is also used in Tennessee) and was licensed to practice. However, the Tennessee board determined that her Canadian education was not “substantially equivalent” to an American legal education. The TBLE argued that it did not have the authority to make exceptions in this case, while Panasci noted that more than 100 similarly situated attorneys have been admitted to practice in Tennessee. Brian Faughnan, a Memphis attorney specializing in attorney qualifications and legal ethics, predicts that the Supreme Court will grant Panasci admission. Read the full story from the Nashville Post.

More news:

  • Mississippi Secretary of State Michael Watson recently discussed his office’s plan to review every regulation for all 29 occupational licensing boards and commissions in the state by 2029 on the Bigger Pie Forum podcast.
  • Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed a new bill into law that will expand substitute teacher licensure in the state.
  • The Florida Department of Health issued an emergency order restricting the license of a Pensacola dentist accused of inappropriately touching three patients and one employee.

Also noteworthy:

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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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