Massachusetts considers mobile sports betting licenses: Weekly regulatory news 
Weekly regulatory news-Dec. 19
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. Massachusetts gaming regulators review applications for mobile sports betting licenses, Kentucky expands assessment options for teachers, and more in our weekly look at regulatory news.

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Mobile sports betting licenses may be coming to Massachusetts

Massachusetts gaming regulators recently began a series of individualized meetings to review applications for mobile sports betting companies seeking licenses tethered to various casinos in the state. The applications were submitted by WynnBET, Caesars Sportsbook, BetMGM, Penn Sports Interactive, and Fanatics Sportsbook. If approved, these companies would be the first mobile sports operators in Massachusetts, marking another step toward the state’s efforts to legalize the industry. The regulators are approving licenses on a temporary basis while the state vets applicants for permanent licensure. State lawmakers projected earlier this year that the new industry would bring in at least $60 million a year in tax revenue, as well as $70 million or more in licensing fees every five years. Read more from AXIOS Boston.

Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board approves alternate licensure assessments

The Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB) has expanded assessment options for educators seeking a teaching certificate. The expanded options aim to decrease the likelihood of denying certifications to people who can serve as a teacher but fail the assessment due to a score that doesn’t represent their abilities. EPSB members approved a -1 standard error of measure (SEM) for the cut score for Praxis assessments. They also approved the use of the Praxis Performance Assessment for Teachers (PPAT) to meet the content and pedagogy assessment of 16 KAR 6:010.

Kentucky Department of Education Associate Commissioner Byron Darnall said that adopting a score at -1 SEM is a way to decrease the chance of false negatives, or people who have the abilities needed to teach but didn’t demonstrate them by meeting the recommended passing score. “The proposed action will provide future teachers expanded options for meeting certification requirements while still maintaining standards,” he noted. The EPSB approved the new measures on a trial basis until Dec. 31, 2023 and will seek feedback from candidates, districts, and educator preparation providers on the changes over the next year. Read more in Kentucky Teacher.

Mississippi committee recommends dissolving Barber Board, Board of Cosmetology in favor of Advisory Councils

A new report released by the Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review (PEER Committee) recommends that the legislature should consider dissolving the Barber Board and the State Board of Cosmetology to create a Barbering Advisory Council and a Cosmetology Advisory Council within the Mississippi Department of Health’s Professional Licensure Division.

The report, titled ‘A Review of the Mississippi Board of Barber Examiners,’ identified several issues that decrease the effectiveness and efficiency of the Barber Board, including issues with regulatory activities, issues with financial management and controls, and administrative issues. Some of the Committee’s major findings show that Mississippi has more restrictive prerequisites to qualify for barber licensure testing than 40 states. and that the Board’s examination practices are not effective in evaluating a candidate’s preparedness for licensure. As the barber and cosmetology boards oversee licensees with similar scopes of practice and have both demonstrated substantial deficiencies in their operations, the report noted that Mississippi could benefit from a solution that would help address these issues and also result in cost savings, such as placing them under the state’s Department of Health. Read more at Y’all Politics.

Task force recommends streamlining permitting, updating occupational licensing rules to address Montana housing crisis

The four subtask groups that comprise Gov. Greg Gianforte’s Housing Task Force released 18 recommendations aimed at regulatory changes for state and local governments to address Montana’s housing crisis. Among the recommendations made by the Regulatory & Permitting Subtask Group were streamlining the DEQ permit review process and updating occupational licensing rules for relevant housing professions to be in line with other states that are increasingly moving towards universal licensing and the use of “equivalent standards.”

Joe McKenney, co-leader of the subtask group, noted during an interview with the Daily Montanan that out-of-state workers’ licenses don’t automatically transfer when they move to Montana, which can be especially difficult for military spouses in licensed occupations who find themselves suddenly unable to practice. Recognizing that “not all licenses are created equal,” he said that someone could still work with appropriate supervision if they couldn’t be licensed right away. According to McKenney, details surrounding what states would be accepted for reciprocal licensing would have to be determined by the Montana Department of Commerce. Read more from the Missoula Current.

Oklahoma fares better than most of the US in occupational licensing according to new study

Oklahoma’s occupational licensing burdens for those required to have a certification or permit to work fare better than 65 percent of the nation, according to a new report released by the Institute for Justice (IJ). In the third edition of ‘License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing,’ Oklahoma was ranked 34th in the nation in terms of its licensing burdens and number of licenses.

Of the 102 occupations studied, Oklahoma only requires licensure for 42 professions, putting the state’s percentage for licensing at 41% – well under the nation’s average of 51%. On average, Oklahomans spend 405 days and $307 in associated fees to obtain a license or certification, which falls close to the national average of 350 days and $284 spent.

The study also investigated state licensure burden changes since the previous edition was released in 2017. In Oklahoma, occupations that require licensing have only increased by one, with midwifery being added to the list. Fees in almost every profession increased statewide from 2017 to 2022, and only one profession saw an increase in the amount of time required to obtain licensure. Read more at The Center Square.

More news:

  • Through a new partnership with Kaplan, Howard University announced it will begin providing all undergraduate students free test prep courses for graduate school admissions exams, including the GRE®, GMAT®, LSAT®, and MCAT®, as well as free test prep for graduate students preparing to take professional licensing exams, including the bar exam, USMLE®, INBDE®, and NCLEX-RN®.
  • The Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing awarded $104,000 in grants to 44 Ohio cemeteries to support repairs and maintenance, training of personnel, and other improvements.
  • The Biden administration is drafting an executive order intended to streamline the licensing and approval process for private rocket launches and satellite deployment amid a broader effort to bring legal and regulatory clarity for American companies on everything from space travel to private space stations.
  • Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division announced that cannabis grown under a medical cultivation permit could be recategorized as retail products and sold in adult-use shops. The agency, which is tasked with the licensing and regulation of medical and retail cannabis industries in Colorado, also announced new safety protections for employees involved in the manufacture of marijuana.

Also noteworthy:

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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IN BRIEF

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Ariel Visconti
Written byAriel Visconti
Ariel Visconti researches and writes on government and politics, regulation, occupational licensing, and emerging technologies.

IN BRIEF

Health Care Regulation
Ohio lawmakers consider bill to localize licensure appeals: 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.
Ohio lawmakers consider bill to localize state agency licensure appeals, Canadian Medical Association welcomes new rules enabling health worker mobility in Ontario, and more in this week’s look at regulatory news.

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