While State Accountancy Boards may be focused on keeping their activities running smoothly despite COVID-19 limitations, others are looking at this as a time to promote their legislative agendas.  NASBA Director of Legislative and Governmental Affairs John Johnson warned NASBA’s Regional Directors on April 23 that the Heritage Foundation’s National Coronavirus Recovery Commission recommended to states, in their COVID Recovery Report (page 5), the removal of occupational licensing requirements.  The Report also recommends reciprocity expansion:

“The Commission recommends that states remove occupational licensing requirements. States have imposed numerous occupational licensing requirements that in many instances are simply artificial barriers to entry that can inhibit individuals’ ability to pursue entrepreneurial work. These should be eliminated. Similarly, states should extend reciprocity so that licensed individuals in one state are not subject to additional requirements in the new state. Eliminating or significantly reducing occupational licensing requirements can help to get people back to work and can also provide a state with access to individuals with high-demand skills. For example, Massachusetts created a one-day approval process to license doctors with out-of-state licenses as a means to expand access to medical care in response to the virus.”

The Goldwater Institute has also recently released a paper that lays out several goals: “We propose four separate reforms. First, we recommend legislation that would amend state administrative codes to eliminate judicial deference to agency decision-making. Second, we recommend Right to Earn a Living legislation that imposes a more protective legal standard in occupational licensing cases. Third, we suggest model legislation that requires agencies to issue permits based on clear, unambiguous standards and comply with strict deadlines. Finally, we recommend a regulatory reset that requires the legislature to re-authorize regulations on a regular basis.” 

President Ken L. Bishop advised the NASBA Board: “State Boards should be super aware of anti-regulation legislation appearing.  We are capable of defending good legislation and are ready to get into the debate.” 

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