West Virginia licensing boards have massive surpluses
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, an audit calls for more oversight on licensing board spending, inmates allege Utah prisons violate standards of care, and a top doctor faces ethical complaints.

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Audit: More oversight needed on state licensing boards

A new legislative audit in West Virginia found the state’s licensing boards closed the 2020-21 budget year with balances over $436 million dollars, The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports. The audit says most of the state’s 791 special revenue accounts for the licensing panels don’t have strict limits on balance amounts. The audit recommends state lawmakers impose maximum balances and grant legislative authority to “sweep” excess funds and redirect the money to other state funding needs. 

The Yukon doesn’t regulate psychologists

The Psychology Society of Yukon says the territorial government needs to regulate the profession after identifying patient safety as a critical ongoing concern. The Yukon is the only jurisdiction in Canada without a regulatory framework for psychologists, the society’s vice-president Reagan Gale told CBC News. As it stands, any individual could practice as a psychologist in the Yukon without any appropriate education or experience.  

Inmate alleges Utah prisons violate standards of care

The Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing in Utah has said medical staff at the state’s Department of Corrections violated standards of care. The news lends support to inmate Damon Crist’s allegations that staff mismanaged the COVID-19 pandemic by not taking basic precautions like changing gloves and isolating inmates with symptoms. Crist is a career criminal with a child kidnapping conviction. Read more at FOX 13 Salt Lake City 

Ethical complaints against top licensing director in NH

The director of the leading professional licensing agency in New Hampshire is facing a formal complaint after a group of residents said he breached state ethics rules. The residents allege Planning Director Kirk Stenersen, who also owns engineering firm Higher Design, violated industry standards of conduct by combining work for private clients and the town of Ringe. The state’s Office of Professional Licensure and Certification, which oversees health-care and technical licensing in New Hampshire, is reviewing the complaint.

NC cosmetology licensing bills stalled in senate

Three bills stalled in North Carolina’s Senate Rules Committee could reduce red tape for small service businesses, The Richmond Observer reports. One bill would curb the licensure process behind teaching cosmetic arts such as hairstyling. Currently, cosmetology schools in the state say they cannot find enough teachers to meet student demand due to student-teacher ratios as well as current state rules requiring potential cosmetology instructors have five years or work experience or to take long courses to become an instructor.

Also noteworthy: 

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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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