Licensure Reform Can Put More Ohioans to Work

Date: July 19, 2022

Senate Bill 131 and House Bill 203 require recognition of licenses from other states if they meet Ohio standards

Small businesses have faced many evolving challenges over the past several years. From government closures and restrictions to inflation and supply chain complications, entrepreneurs have had to pivot multiple times to keep up with the changing economic landscape. What has remained constant during this time, however, is workplace vacancies and the inability to fill open positions. Unfortunately, the pandemic only exacerbated this problem.

While the labor participation rate is returning to pre-pandemic levels, many NFIB members are still left with open positions they are unable to fill. Fifty percent of our members, an all-time high reading, indicated they have available opportunities, and of those 92 percent state lack of necessary skills. Of course, our members have responded to the tight labor market, with 75 percent indicating they have increased wages and/or benefits and a quarter of those indicating they plan to do so again. Although this may attract more applicants, what it does not necessarily solve is the need for skilled, certified, or licensed individuals so many professions now require.

The number of occupations that require some sort of government blessing has increased substantially over the past 50 years. Today, nearly one in five require some sort of licensure or certification. There are various training, education, and training requirements for each, and Ohio’s requirements do not always mirror those of other states. Though government can create impediments to entry into professions, they can also take down barriers. That is just what Senate Bill 131 and House Bill 203 purport to do.

These important bills eliminate some of the red tape that impedes individuals from out of state from quickly practicing in their trained vocation. Senate Bill 131 and House Bill 203 require recognition of licenses from other states with some important protections that ensure those who apply for licensure in Ohio meet the necessary standards of our state.

Individuals seeking licensure or government certification must be in good standing in their state of origin, not had their license revoked or surrendered, not been convicted or plead guilty to an offense related to licensing, satisfy minimum training, education, or experience or pass an examination, and pay the appropriate registration fee to the licensing entity. Additionally, individuals that have been issued certification by a private entity and those with satisfactory work experience whose home state does not license in their profession may also qualify for expedient licensure.

One does not lose their skill or ability to practice in a profession simply by crossing arbitrary state lines. Senate Bill 131 and House Bill 203 are not the panaceas for all the workforce challenges our members face. However, these bills will no doubt benefit many. There are important safeguards in the bill to protect the public and ensure licenses are issued only to qualified individuals. Ohio has an opportunity to be a leader in licensure recognition. Employers’ demand for workers remains a significant problem. The government must work as a partner with the private sector to enact policies that address employer concerns and not preserve obstacles to growth.

Senate Bill 131

House Bill 203

Senate Bill 131 and House Bill 203 require recognition of licenses from other states if they meet Ohio standards

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