Louisiana Senate Approves Plan to Recognize Occupational Licenses from Other States

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BATON ROUGE (The Center Square) — The Louisiana Senate has approved legislation to recognize occupational licenses and work experience from other states.

“This bill simply stipulates that certain licensing boards shall recognize licenses from other states as long as both states license the particular profession,” Sen. Stewart Cathey, R-Monroe, sponsor of Senate Bill 483, said Monday.

The legislation allows the appropriate licensing board to determine whether an out-of-state license of the same profession is comparable to a Louisiana license, and whether any additional testing or training is required.

Cathy previously clarified in committee that his proposal would allow spouses of military members with licenses from other states to gain approval for operation in Louisiana.

“If someone has already done the things that they need to do in another state and they’re willing to move here and take up a residency, then I’m all for giving them an easier path to getting to work,” Cathey said during a mid-April Senate Commerce Committee hearing.

SB 483 was initially opposed by representatives from Louisiana’s licensing boards over concerns about a lack of uniform qualifications among professions in other states, but Cathey worked through the issues over the last several weeks “until we got into a posture the opposition could agree with,” he said.

The bill requires boards to issue an occupational license to a person if they hold a current and valid license in another state “with a similar scope of practice, as determined by the professional or occupational licensing board in this state.”

The person must have held the license in another state for at least one year, and had to pass an examination “or meet education, training, or experience standards.”

Those that apply must be in good standing, not have a disqualifying criminal record, and not have faced issues with “negligence or intentional misconduct related to the person’s work in the occupation.”

Those with at least three years of work experience in a profession that does not require a license in another state can also gain a license in Louisiana if they meet the same criteria. Professionals with two years of experience and a private certification from another state can also apply.

SB 483 states “a professional or occupational licensing board may require a person to pass a jurisprudential examination specific to relevant state laws that regulate the occupation if an occupational license in this state requires” one.

The bill specifically exempts the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners, the State Board of Certified Public Accountants of Louisiana, the State Board of Architectural Examiners, the Louisiana Real Estate Commission, the State Board of Veterinary Medicine Examiners, the Louisiana Professional Engineering and Land Surveying Board, the Louisiana State Board of Dentistry, the State Board of Nursing, and any “occupation regulated by the Louisiana Supreme Court.”

The Senate approved SB 483 on Monday with a vote of 37-0, with no questions or discussion.

The Pelican Institute, which is supporting several occupational licensing reforms in the current legislative session, commended the Senate for passing the “universal licensure recognition.”

“Every Louisianan has a friend or family member who has left the state for work. All too often we make it overly difficult for people to come home to Louisiana and continue their careers,” CEO Daniel Erspamer said. “We applaud the Louisiana Senate for passing Senate Bill 483 to ensure that people moving to Louisiana don’t have to face redundant occupational licensure requirements for work they are already safely doing in another state”

SB 483 now heads to the House for consideration.

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