California passes police misconduct accountability law
California police car
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 California law to hold police more accountable passes, military spouses get more occupational licensing relief, and a Massachusetts mayor gets six years for marijuana bribes.

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A law to better hold California police officers accountable for misconduct was successfully passed by the state legislature. While California may be known for its extensive regulations in many areas, it is one of only four states in the U.S. lacking a certification/decertification process to remove police officers deemed to have committed misconduct from police forces. The law, which has cleared the state legislature and senate despite opposition from Republicans and police unions, awaits signing from Gov. Gavin Newsom. 

California is also headed towards becoming the biggest state to let specially trained “nonlawyers” provide legal advice in certain settings, like in regards to employment and consumer debt, for example. The proposed “paraprofessional” program got a preliminary blessing from the State Bar of California’s Board of Trustees which voted for a 110-day period for public comment. If it is adopted, California could join Washington, Arizona, and Utah in permitting “legal paraprofessionals” (also known as limited license legal professionals) to practice. (Reuters)

The Military Spouse Licensing Relief Act was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives with bipartisan support. The bill was designed to make moving from state to state easier for members of the military and their families and would allow spouses of military personnel to avoid having to recertify in each state with each move. The bill says that, even prior to COVID-19, military spouses were dealing with a 22% unemployment rate and a 26% wage gap compared to their civilian counterparts. The bill now moves on to the Senate. 

A former Massachusetts mayor in Town Fall, Mass., has been sentenced to six years in federal prison after being convicted of soliciting and accepting nearly $500,000 in bribes from aspiring cannabis entrepreneurs. Jasiel F. Correia II was connected to a scheme to defraud investors as well as extort marijuana vendors and represents a marijuana licensing problem Forbes suggests is likely to continue.

Two states recently amended licensure laws tied to consumer lending. In Wyoming, a new bill amends a state credit code to require licenses for individuals in sales financing, consumer loans, or non-servicing rights. Maine also enacted a bill that prohibits certain activity related to consumer loans in the spirit of protecting consumers from predatory, fraudulent lending practices. (The National Law Review)

An upcoming virtual conference will look at challenges facing the licensing industry in Scotland over the last 18 months. Central Law Training’s (CLT) Licensing Conference will cover everything from lessons learned from COVID-19 to the rules and conditions for alcohol delivery and the future of occupational licensing. Interested parties can learn more about the Oct. 7 event on CLT’s website

Also noteworthy:

• Tesla will bring self-driving no matter what and regulators need to adapt, writes Al Root at Barron’s.

• Immigrant nurses in British Columbia say language proficiency requirements are forcing them to look for other jobs, CBC reports.

• State regulators in Colorado say ride operators didn’t properly check the seatbelt of a Colorado Springs girl who died at an amusement park.

Got a news tip? Write us at editor@ascend.thentia.com. 

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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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Ascend Magazine lives at the nexus of regulation, licensing, public policy, and digital government. We share news, insight, and exclusive commentary from leaders in regulation and technology. 

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