Iowa sued over licensing requirements for threaders
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. In this week's news, a Texas company sues Iowa for excessive licensing requirements for threaders, nurses face more licensing delays, and one state introduces new hospital policies to fight labor shortages.

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Iowa sued over ‘useless, onerous’ licensing requirements for threaders

A company in Texas filed a civil rights lawsuit against the state of Iowa for requiring that hair-threading professionals undergo 600 hours of “useless” training for a license. The company, which operates a West Des Moines threading salon, is suing the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Iowa Board of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences to prevent them from forcing a small-business owner to close due to an “unconstitutional occupational licensing system,” according to the suit. It suggests that the state imposes onerous and superfluous requirements on threaders, who need to be licensed as an esthetician by the Iowa Board of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences, despite the simple nature and lack of risk of the profession. In addition to 600 hours of education in esthetics, licensure as an esthetician costs more than $12,000, according to plaintiffs. Read more at Iowa Capital Dispatch.

Nurses having trouble getting, renewing licenses due to delays, roadblocks

Nurses in Maryland are venting their frustration over the state’s licensure system, which requires nurses to apply in person and fill out written applications. In responding to complaints, the Maryland Department of Health said the Maryland Board of Nursing is working to process licensure applications as quickly as possible, noting that all licenses current as of Dec. 4, 2021, will remain current through Feb. 3, 2022. Read about the issue at WBAL-TV 11.

Anti-vaxxer doc sent for psychiatric evaluation for prescribing Ivermectin

A physician in Maine has had her license suspended after being accused of spreading false COVID-19 information and prescribing Ivermectin, an anti-parasite drug used on animals. The Maine Board of Licensure also ordered the physician to have a neuropsychological evaluation by a board-selected psychologist. According to the suspension order, letting her continue to practice constituted an immediate jeopardy to the health and physical safety of the public who might receive her medical services. The doctor, who had practiced internal medicine since 1997, actively tweets against vaccine programs and spreads misinformation on her blog, leading to multiple complaints. Read about it here.

Personal employee information possibly accessed during holiday cyberattack on gaming authority

The Saskatchewan government is reporting a risk that personal employee information may have leaked from a Christmas Day cyberattack on Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA). The provincial government said an investigation into the matter showed the records were accessed by an unauthorized third party. SLGA has not reported any impact to client information and will continue to provide updates to the public. Independent cybersecurity experts helped the regulator recover from this incident and its distribution center has since resumed full operations. Follow the story here.

While NCBE sticks with in-person February bar exam, one state supreme court greenlights planning for future alternatives

The National Conference of Bar Examiners says it will not offer a remote option for the February bar exam. If a jurisdiction prohibits large gatherings, makeup dates for in-person tests will be offered in March, the organization announced Monday, attributing the decision to firm deadlines set by ExamSoft, which provides software for the bar exam. The NCBE said in June it would return to in-person bar exams starting with the February 2022 test. The announcement followed various problems with remote bar exams. Nevada currently offers its own remote exam for February, and in Oregon, the Supreme Court unanimously voted into support two alternatives to attorney licensure, involving experiential learning and supervised practice. See the full story at ABA Journal.

Massachusetts implements new hospital policies to combat staffing shortages

Massachusetts has implemented new hospital policies to handle staffing shortages and maintain hospital capacity amid a surge in coronavirus cases, The Hill reports. The state governor’s administration announced adjustments during a “critical staffing shortage” that has contributed to the loss of hundreds of hospital beds for a year. It says the new policy will allow qualified physician assistants to practice independently, provide greater staffing flexibility for dialysis units, allow foreign-trained physicians to obtain licenses more easily, and discourage non-emergency visits to emergency departments. Hospitals have seen an increase in patients with non-COVID-19 related issues, according to the state’s Department of Public Health.

Poland raises cybersecurity terror threat after Ukraine cyberattack

Poland has upgraded its nationwide cybersecurity terror threat following a recent cyberattack in Ukraine, calling the move preventative. The cyberattack in Ukraine warned citizens to “be afraid and expect the worst” while the nation worries it could face a possible new military offensive from Russia. Ukrainian officials reported the attack hit nearly 70 government sites, including the security and defense council, the cabinet of ministers and several ministries, according to Reuters.

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Paul Leavoy
Written byPaul Leavoy
Paul Leavoy is Editor of Ascend Magazine and writes on occupational licensing, regulation, digital government, and public policy.

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