Louisiana removes licensing barriers for people with criminal records: Weekly regulatory news 
Weekly regulatory news, Nov. 28
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. New report calls for licensing reform in Australia, Louisiana removes licensing barriers for people with criminal records, and more in our weekly look at regulatory news.

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Winding back occupational licensing in Australia could deliver $5B a year, says new report

As Australia grapples with the tightest labor market in years, the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) argues in a new report that winding back widespread occupational licensing requirements would make it easier for employers to fill their vacancies and could boost the economy by up to $5 billion a year. The report noted that maximizing the benefits of reform would require removing mobility restrictions across all occupations and matching the overall stringency of Sweden’s regime by removing licensing of electricians, plumbers, and painters. It also recommended that the Automatic Mutual Recognition of Occupational Registrations scheme introduced last year – which allows people in certain occupations to work across state and territory borders without having to apply and pay for a different license in each state – be extended to all states and expanded to include more occupations, and called for the development of “a process to remove licensing requirements in occupations not subject to restrictions in other states.” Read more in the Financial Review.

Louisiana removes licensing barriers for people with criminal records

Two new bills aiming to increase fairness and transparency for individuals with criminal records hoping to acquire occupational licenses in Louisiana went into law in August. The first of these bills, House Bill 1062, places additional requirements for boards and commissions regulating occupational licensing. In addition, the bill requires these organizations to justify any occupational regulations based on their ability to “fulfill legitimate fiduciary, public health, safety, or welfare objectives.” It also allows any individual to request that a licensing board review a given occupational regulation to determine whether it is the least restrictive requirement necessary to achieve these legitimate goals and permits these individuals to challenge occupational rules in court. The second bill, House Bill 639, will help those with a conviction or arrest record determine whether they are eligible for a permit before investing time or money in acquiring training. Under the legislation, individuals convicted of a crime may request that a licensing board or commission determine if their record would disqualify them from acquiring a license. The law also prohibits licensing boards or commissions from denying occupational licenses based on a criminal record, except in cases where the crime relates directly to the given employment. Read more on the legislation on the Pre-Employ blog.

Colombian senators approve marijuana legalization bill

A bill to legalize adult-use marijuana in Colombia has been approved by a Senate committee weeks after it advanced in the country’s Chamber of Representatives – bringing the nation one step closer towards establishing a recreational cannabis market. Lawmakers have met several times in recent weeks to debate the reform proposal, which would amend the country’s Constitution to end cannabis prohibition for adults. The bill will restrict possession and public consumption at schools and certain public spaces. It also calls for public education campaigns and the promotion of substance misuse treatment services. Several senior politicians have spoken out in favor of adult-use cannabis legalization and drug reform in recent months, including President Gustavo Petro, who took office in August. If legalization efforts succeed, Justice Minister Néstor Osuna said that government agencies will be working to facilitate a “faster, less difficult” licensure process for Colombian cultivators. Although the bill passed the First Committee of the Senate by a vote of 11-4, there are additional legislative hurdles to clear before it’s potentially enacted into law. If enacted, officials would have six months to promulgate rules for the adult-use market. Read the full story in Marijuana Moment.

Rental licensing scheme planned to root out sub-standard housing in Jersey

The Government of Jersey, the largest and southernmost of the Channel Islands, plans to introduce a licensing regime for all rental properties to root out sub-standard housing. Environment Minister Jonathan Renouf said he will be introducing a proposition in the new year that would require each rented dwelling to obtain a license, with government officers able to withhold or withdraw a license if a property was deemed to be unsafe. Deputy Renouf said his proposal aims to ensure that minimum standards are adhered to and that tenants and their families are living in safe homes. The previous Assembly debated several propositions related to the regulation of private rented dwellings, including attempts to introduce a licensing system. The most recent of those was defeated by just a single vote in July 2021. Read more in the Jersey Evening Post.

Indiana university offers new pathway to elementary education licensure

Indiana Wesleyan University-National & Global is addressing the current teacher shortage in the state by creating a degree track that equips teachers and eliminates barriers to elementary education licensure. The new Bachelor of Science program is one of few in the country to provide a licensure pathway without requiring an education major. With a curriculum that provides hands-on, practical classroom experience, the program prepares enrollees for their initial Elementary Generalist K-6 educator licensure upon completion. In addition, IWU’s transfer policy can help students accelerate their studies, as students can transfer up to 90 previously earned credits toward their bachelor’s degree and begin taking concentration- and minor-specific classes more quickly. Dr. Sarah Hamsher, associate professor of education at IWU-National & Global, says the program is “ideal for paraprofessionals, classroom assistants and others who are passionate about making the classroom an innovative, creative space for today’s elementary school students.” Read more on the IWU website.

More news:

  • AuditClub announced the launch of an innovative program for accounting students interested in a CPA career that will accelerate their path to licensure by providing the work experience required for license eligibility and helping them prepare for the CPA licensing exam.
  • The Electrical Trades Union (ETU) is slamming CEDA’s new report calling for occupational licensing reform in Australia, which included a recommendation of de-licensing electricians. ETU Acting National Secretary Michael Wright pointed out that Australia’s high standards for electrical workers is a chief reason why it has one of the lowest rates of household electrical fires in the western world, and said that “Winding back safety regulations is a recipe for disaster which puts all of us at risk.”

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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