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Occupational License Review to Start

(LITTLE ROCK)  A legislative panel plans to begin the first phase of a comprehensive review of the state’s occupational licenses, by studying 51 licenses issued by 17 agencies, boards and commissions through August 2020.

Critics say some licensing requirements are over-burdensome, protect incumbents and drive up the cost of services.

The Legislative Council’s Occupational Licensing Review Subcommittee on Thursday recommended that the council, at its meeting on Friday, adopt a six-year plan for the subcommittee to review all 307 occupational licenses issued by state entities. A portion of the total would be reviewed each year.

The subcommittee’s aim is for the state to have the least restrictive form of occupational licensing while also protecting the public.

Besides Arkansas, California, Colorado and Kansas also license psychiatric technician nurses and Arkansas has 66 individuals with an active license, said Sue Tedford, executive director of the Board of Nursing.

The licensed psychiatric technician nurses function in many of the same settings as licensed practical nurses and perform many of the same procedures, she said after Thursday’s meeting.

Other licenses will be reviewed by the committee through August 2020, and will start soon as well.

Licenses with the Department of Environmental Quality’s Office of Air Quality and Asbestos Section., the Department of Health’s Radiation Control Section and Radiologic Technology Licensure Program and Engineering Section, the Fire Protection Licensing Board, the Motor Vehicle Commission,  the Board of Pharmacy, Plant Board and Board of Physical Therapy.

In addition, the Board of Acupuncture and Related Techniques; Auctioneers Licensing Board; Professional Bail Bondsman Licensing Board; Board of Court Reporter Examiners; Department of Human Services’ Office of Long Term Care; Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training; Arkansas State Police; and Board of Registration for Professional Soil Classifiers will also be reviewed too.

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