Georgia addresses backlogged cases, background checks
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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. In this week's news, a Utah woman pleads guilty to portraying a doctor, a Kaysville chiropractor meets more sexual abuse charges, and a state looks to newly regulate naturopathy.

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Georgia to address backlogged criminal cases, background checks

Plans to tackle gaps in Georgia’s criminal record database could help occupational licensing boards expedite approvals for licensees requiring background checks, according to state officials. State legislators are working with senators to pass the Criminal Record Responsibility Act to help address the nearly 29,000 backlogged criminal cases from the state crime lab. “Ensuring access to updated criminal records is a crucial public safety issue not only for members of the judicial system, but for potential employers, housing companies and occupational licensing boards who require a criminal background check,” a state official explained in a release. Read more at 11Alive.

Utah woman pleads guilty to portraying herself as a doctor

A southern Utah woman pleaded guilty to practicing a profession without a license, a third-degree felony, after being accused of portraying herself as a doctor while issuing over 2,100 prescriptions. From 2018 to 2021, Jennifer Renee Myers prescribed “controlled substances by using the (Drug Enforcement Administration) number of a physician assistant without his consent. Myers also maintained medical records, examining, diagnosing and treating these patients without the proper medical license,” according to charging documents. Myers possessed a license to practice acupuncture until she agreed to surrender her license for 10 years. Read about it at KSL.com.

More sexual abuse charges filed against Kaysville chiropractor

Two additional charges have been filed against a Kaysville chiropractor facing sexual abuse charges, bringing his total felony count to 20. Back in December, the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing revoked Kenneth Walter Pierce’s chiropractic license for five years on the grounds of unprofessional conduct. New documents alleged Pierce sexually abused six patients in a series of incidents from 2018 to 2021. Charges against him include one count of object rape, a first-degree felony, and 19 counts of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony. Read more at the Standard-Examiner.

Mixed reception in medical community amid push to regulate naturopathy

Naturopathy might become recognized and regulated in Wisconsin, where a bill designed to regulate it just cleared state hurdles. Though the bill has bipartisan support, Wisconsin’s medical communities are mixed. The bill would create a seven-member licensing board for naturopaths but would not permit licensed naturopaths to write prescriptions for controlled substances. This follows January testimony from a Madison-based naturopath who told a state legislative committee he discouraged COVID vaccines for most of his patients under 80 and opposed masks. Read the full story at Channel 3000.

New York street vendors push for better licensure

Over 150 New York street vendors and supporters marched to demand legislation to legitimize a workforce of roughly 20,000 vendors in the state. If passed, the bill would remove barriers to licensed street vending and mitigate past criminal convictions for street vending offenses. Data by the Bronx Times show that among the 11,923 open applications on a waiting list for licensure by the city’s Department of Consumer Worker Protections (DCWP), nearly 3,000 Bronx vendors await general vendor licensure. Read more at the Bronx Times.

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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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