Occupational Licensing Reform


State lawmakers across the country are considering proposals to eliminate or weaken occupational licensing standards. While the CPA license is rarely a target, it could become threatened by poorly crafted or vaguely worded legislation.

Examine what deregulation means for Pennsylvania CPAs, and learn how the PICPA leadership team is working to protect your CPA license.
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Occupational Licensing Reform Needs a Guard Against Mishap

Oct. 7, 2019 | CPA Now
By Peter N. Calcara, vice president - government relations

Pennsylvania is not immune to the deregulation trend. In October 2017, Gov. Tom Wolf signed an executive order directing his Department of State (DOS), Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA), which oversees professional licensure, to conduct a comprehensive review of the state's processes, fees, training requirements, criminal history policies, reciprocity or interstate agreements, and continuing education requirements for occupational and professional licensure.
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CPA Conversations: Live at the PICPA Leadership Conference


The PICPA's Bill Hayes and Jim DeLuccia discuss the deregulation movement with Skip Braziel, vice president of state regulation and legislation for the AICPA. A podcast recording and full transcript of the discussion is also available.

Coalition Launched to Protect Professional Licensing

Aug. 12, 2019 | Journal of Accountancy
By Julia Woislaw

The PICPA-supported Alliance for Responsible Professional Licensing (ARPL) is designed to educate lawmakers on the need to maintain standards for highly complex, technical professions such as accounting that have a clear impact on the public's fiscal health and welfare. As the topic of licensing is debated at the state level, the coalition will provide leaders of advanced professions with a platform to voice their concerns to lawmakers.
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Your License Is Under Attack

March 4, 2019 | CPA Now
By Peter N. Calcara, vice president - government relations

Over the past two years, more than 30 states have considered legislation that would reduce or remove professional licensing requirements. CPAs, in some cases, are not exempt from this movement.

Groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Institute for Justice, and Americans for Prosperity are spearheading these efforts. One of ALEC's hallmark legislative policies is its Occupational Licensing Relief and Job Creation Act. According to ALEC, this policy is aimed at removing licensure as a prerequisite to lawful occupation.
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Pennsylvania House and Senate Bills on Occupational Licensing Reform

 

House Bill 1596
Prime Sponsor: Rep. Mark Gillen

Amends Title 51 (Military Affairs) in professional and occupational licenses, further providing for retention of licenses and certifications of persons entering military service by including persons licensed by the Department of Agriculture.

House Bill 64
Prime Sponsor: Rep. Harry Readshaw

Amends an act empowering the General Counsel to issue subpoenas for certain licensing board activities, permitting individuals under the purview of the Bureau of Professional and Occupations Affairs Act to accrue continuing education credits in credit carryover.

House Bill 1172
Prime Sponsor: Rep. Dave Hickernell

Amends an act entitled "An act empowering the General Counsel or his designee to issue subpoenas for certain licensing board activities; providing for hearing examiners in the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs; providing additional powers to the Commissioner of Professional and Occupational Affairs; and further providing for civil penalties and license suspension" providing for licensure by endorsement.

The bill establishes that a licensing board or commission shall issue a license, certificate, registration or permit to an applicant to allow practice in this commonwealth if, upon application to the licensing board, the applicant satisfies all of the following conditions: holds a current license, certificate, registration or permit from another state, territory or country and the licensing board or commission determines that state's, territory's or country's requirements are substantially equivalent to or exceed the requirements established in this commonwealth; demonstrates competency in the profession through methods determined by the licensing board; has not committed any act that constitutes grounds for refusal, suspension or revocation of a license; is in good standing and has not been disciplined by the issuing jurisdiction; and pays any fees established by the board or commission.
 
House Bill 1477
Prime Sponsor: Rep. Sheryl Delozier

Amends Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses), in criminal history record information, establishing that criminal convictions shall not automatically preclude the issuance of a license, certificate, registration or permit by a licensing agency. The legislation establishes that licensing bodies may refuse, suspend or revoke any license on the basis that the crime directly relates to the occupation for which certification is sought, or that an individualized assessment of the relation of the conviction to the applicant's overall suitability to engage in the profession for which the permit is sought.
Senate Bill  637 (Companion of House Bill 1477)
Prime Sponsor: Sen. John Disanto

Amends Title 18 (Crimes & Offenses)  in criminal history record information requiring occupational licensure boards to only withhold a license for convictions which are directly related to the practice of the occupation, and that boards consider the nature of the offense, the amount of time that has passed since conviction, evidence of the applicant's ability to practice the occupations and other relevant factors prior to withholding a license. The legislation requires boards to publish regulations to explain how the new Criminal History Record Information Act rules apply.

House Bill 995
Prime Sponsor: Rep. Andrew Lewis

Amends Title 71 (State Government) providing for regulatory review and for regulatory reduction pilot program and making an editorial change. The legislation is intended to reduce barriers for small business owners, workers, and returning residents who want to enter the workforce in an occupation requiring a license. 

House Bill 811
Prime Sponsor: Rep. Jim Cox

Amends Title 63 (State Licensed Professions and Occupations) providing licensing for individuals with a criminal conviction and for occupational licensing for low-income individuals.
 
House Bill 1566
Prime Sponsor: Rep. Bill Kortz

Amends the act of July 2, 1993 (P.L.345, No.48), entitled "An act empowering the General Counsel or his designee to issue subpoenas for certain licensing board activities; providing for hearing examiners in the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs; providing additional powers to the Commissioner of Professional and Occupational Affairs; and further providing for civil penalties and license suspension," further providing for civil penalties.
Understanding Advocacy: PICPA's Role

PICPA's advocacy work encompasses a broad range of activities designed to encourage fair tax policy and promote business growth.

On Nov. 21, 2019, the state House sent PICPA-supported House Bill 17 to Gov. Wolf's desk. The legislation will place a 10-year period on the collection of assessed taxes, ensuring only active taxpayers will receive tax notices.

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