Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Gov. Wolf Issues Executive Order To Overhaul PA's Professional Licensing System

Gov. Tom Wolf Wednesday announced he signed an executive order to begin a review of the Commonwealth’s professional licenses to benchmark Pennsylvania’s licensing requirements against national and regional averages.
The review will ensure that professional licenses are free from unnecessary barriers to opportunity from excessive licensing requirements, fees and policies that unnecessarily block hardworking Pennsylvanians from the career of their choice, while also protecting against public harm.
“Requiring a license to work in certain jobs helps to keep all of us safe, but those requirements should be fair relative to other states in our region and across the country,” said Gov. Wolf. “Overly burdensome requirements and fees can block some workers – especially minorities or spouses in military families who move frequently – from starting a career and supporting their families.”
“With this executive order, I am tasking the Commissioner of the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs within the Pennsylvania Department of State. The commissioner will work with the various licensing boards and commissions to give them the tools they need to more efficiently regulate their industry.”
The commissioner will partner with the 29 boards and commissions in Pennsylvania to study each board’s licensing process, fees, training and continuing education requirements. The commissioners will prepare a report comparing Pennsylvania’s requirements with other states in our region and across the nation and include any reciprocity agreements with other states.
The Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs within the Department of State provides administrative and legal support to professional and occupational licensing boards and commissions.
Approximately 20 percent of Pennsylvania workers need a license to do their job. The share of workers with an occupational license has grown rapidly since the 1950s.
“We need to find the right balances in our licensing requirements so talented and skilled workers can do their jobs and support our economy as we continue to attract business to Pennsylvania and develop a strong workforce,” said Gov. Wolf. “Looking for ways to modernize our licensing process for workers is an important part of that process.”
Among the long list of boards and commissions included in the executive order are--
-- State Board of Crane Operators
-- State Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists
-- State Board of Landscape Architects
-- Navigation Commission
The commissioner’s findings will be submitted to the governor within seven months from the effective date of the order.
Click Here for a copy of the Executive Order.

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