Utah creates new office to review professional licenses: 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. Colorado creates license protections for state-legal cannabis users, Kansas axes certification requirements for threaders, Utah moves to fully review its licensing policies, and more in our Week in Brief.

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Utah creates office to review professional licenses

Utah has created an Office of Professional Licensure Review to investigate the state’s licensure laws and make recommendations to the legislature depending on their findings. The new agency will exist under the state’s Department of Commerce (DOC) and its staff will review requirements for every single type of license in Utah, attempting to determine whether certain licensure laws are too strict or too lenient — or whether they are necessary at all. According to the DOC, the new agency will help regulators react to worker shortages and other changes in the labor market. Read more at Fox 13 Salt Lake City.

Kent council proposes tobacco retail license to curb underage nicotine use

In an effort to curb underage smoking and vaping, city officials from Kent, OH, are proposing a new licensing law requiring retailers to pay a fee to sell tobacco products. The proposal arose in response to data showing that 30% of businesses in the city had been caught selling tobacco products to underaged smokers. If passed, the new tobacco retail license (TRL) would require all nicotine product retailers in Kent to pay $400 a year for licensure. City officials say the revenue would go toward compliance checks, law enforcement efforts, and educational programs for sellers. Read more at News 5 Cleveland.

Shelby County officials consider asking Tennessee state government to distribute license plates

Commissioners in Shelby County, TN, are allowing the clerk’s office three more weeks to collect reports before they decide whether to ask the State of Tennessee to temporarily distribute license plates in the county. For months, the office has carried a backlog of thousands of license plates that have not yet been mailed out to their recipients. According to the clerk’s office, this resulted from a lack of money for postage and a high public demand for new license plates. The office is also experiencing a staffing shortage, which could be contributing to the backlog. Read more at Commercial Appeal.

Kansas eliminates licensure requirements for threaders

The state of Kansas recently enacted a law allowing threaders to work without obtaining an aesthetician’s license. Because threading is a relatively simple, safe practice that involves using thin strings to shape eyebrows and get rid of unwanted facial hair, critics of the prior law argued that it forced the workers to complete 1,000 hours of expensive and unnecessary training, in addition to paying for the costs of written and practical licensure exams. Lawmakers decided to propose the law after learning that its restrictions were contributing to labor shortages, hurting salons and aspiring threaders alike. Read more at the Wall Street Journal.

Colorado governor establishes cannabis-related protections for licensed professionals

Colorado Governor Jared Polis has signed an executive order creating licensing protections for professionals who use marijuana in compliance with state law. Under the new order, both current and potential licensees in Colorado would be protected from in-state disciplinary action for marijuana convictions or sanctions handed down in prohibitionist states. The order also forbids state agencies from cooperating with out-of-state investigations seeking to penalize licensed professionals for marijuana-related activity (such as consumption, cultivation, or processing) that would be perfectly lawful in Colorado. This does, however, include an exemption for cooperation in court-ordered, marijuana-related employment investigations. Read more at Marijuana Moment.

More news:

  • A mental health counselor in Thurston County, WA, recently had her license suspended over allegations of inappropriate conduct with clients. Counselor Mary Kaylan Coacher has been accused of several indiscretions, including seeing clients socially and sharing confidential information between them. She will not be able to practice counseling in the state until the charges have been resolved.
  • Three judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago have overturned a lower court’s decision to dismiss a lawsuit from Dr. Ricardo Vasquez, who alleges that Indiana University Health is “building a monopoly in primary care services through a series of anticompetitive acquisitions.” The suit, which also accuses IU Health of violating federal antitrust laws, can proceed once more. Vasquez’ attorney said she expects a trial to take place at least a year from now.
  • Legislators in Guam have proposed a measure that would require the territory’s Board of Medical Examiners to digitally publish accusations made against doctors if the cases are not resolved in six months. Proponents argue that the law would promote transparency and incentivize regulators to quickly resolve complaints, some of which have been sitting with the medical board for years.

Also noteworthy: 

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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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