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PA occupational licenses

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By Robert Swift
Staff Writer

HARRISBURG (July 1) – Gov. Tom Wolf signed a law Monday making it easier for newcomers to Pennsylvania with out-of-state occupational licenses to get work more quickly in their professions.

The Governor said he hopes the law, formerly House Bill 1172, will be the first of a coming wave of changes to Pennsylvania’s occupational licensing system.

The law requires state licensing boards to issue licenses by endorsement to someone who holds the same license in another state and meets similar requirements. Act 41 takes effect in 60 days.

This license can be issued on an individual basis if the licensing requirements in another state, territory or country are determined to be substantially similar to Pennsylvania’s requirements.

The law also creates a provisional endorsement license.

Its enactment means that many licensed professionals from other states won’t have to complete Pennsylvania’s entire licensing process to be able to work here.

Military spouses will especially benefit from the law since they move often and will no longer find themselves unable to work for long periods of time while they go through a licensing process, said Wolf.

“They [spouses] can’t be forced to lose weeks, even months of employment,” he added.

Occupational licensing is a target for reform at a time when some employers face shortages of qualified workers and the state’s policymakers are focused on workforce development.

Wolf has also proposed making the licensing process more efficient, replacing 13 job licenses with less restrictive requirements and repealing the automatic 10-year ban on licensing someone convicted of a drug felony.

Lawmakers of both parties recently introduced bills to set new standards for occupational boards to use when considering licenses for applicants with criminal records.

Questions, please contact Jack Phillips.