Read the latest edition of NASBA's Legislative E-news
Read the latest edition of NASBA's Legislative E-news
February 2020
New Legislative Tracking Tool to Aid State Boards and Stakeholders
NASBA is now using FiscalNote to identify and track legislation impacting the regulation of the accounting profession. The below interactive policy map was created specifically for Boards of Accountancy and other stakeholders in order to monitor legislation relevant to the profession, as well as any amendments made to a bill during the legislative process. To begin using the system, scroll down to view all bills tagged by issue area and in alphabetical order by jurisdiction, or click on the jurisdiction located on the interactive map to view all bills tagged by jurisdiction.

You may also view the bill text and status by clicking on the arrow located on the right side of each bill tagged in the system. NASBA encourages all boards and stakeholders to open the legislative tracking policy map located at NASBA.org on the Legislative Tracking page, and save the link as a favorite for quick reference.  

Click on the map to visit the Legislative Tracking page.
If you have questions or suggestions on how to enhance this new feature provided by NASBA, contact John Johnson, Director, Legislative and Governmental Affairs, at jjohnson@nasba.org or 615.880.4232.
Anti-Regulation Assault Continues in 2020
In NASBA’s February 2019 Legislative E-News (The Assault on Regulations in 2019), John Johnson, Director, Legislative and Governmental Affairs, reported that multiple state legislatures had filed legislation aimed at reducing and, in some instances eliminating, occupational oversight. In 2020, these campaigns by anti-regulatory forces continue with a number of bills already filed. For example:

Consumer Choice Act Legislation
In West Virginia (SB 218) and Tennessee (HB 1945), legislation was introduced that would allow any non-licensed individual to enter into a “non-licensed disclosure” agreement with a potential client, allowing a non-CPA to work in a lawful occupation without an occupational license.

Board Composition
In Arizona, SB 1274 would change the composition of licensing boards by including more public members. For example, the Arizona Board of Accountancy, which currently consists of seven members (5 CPAs, 2 Public), would decrease from five members  currently holding a valid CPA license to three, and would add two public members for a total of four.  Click here to view the Senate Commerce Committee discussion on SB 1274. Refer to the article by The American Spector entitled “A License to Kill Jobs,” located on the right side under the “IN THE NEWS” section of this e-newsletter for additional context. 

Universal Occupational Licensing Recognition
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed into law in 2019 legislation that requires all boards in Arizona to recognize out-of-state individuals who hold a similar occupational license in their home state to automatically become eligible for licensure in Arizona. The only requirement is that the individual is in good standing and has been licensed for more than one year.

In 2020, more than 10 similar bills have been filed in the following jurisdictions: Georgia (HB 773); Iowa (SF 2114); Indiana (HB 1008); Kansas (HB 2506); Missouri (HB 2046); Ohio (HB 432); Oklahoma (SB 1891); Tennessee (HB 1944); Virginia HB 982); Washington (HB 2354); and West Virginia (SB 548).

Criminal Conviction 
Legislation has been filed in a number of state legislatures, which significantly lessens legal barriers to obtaining an occupational license for individuals with a criminal conviction. For example, in Washington, HB 2356 states that “it is the intent of the legislature to provide a reliable process for individuals with past criminal convictions to apply for a professional license, and to not be prevented from obtaining a professional license due to a prior criminal conviction, which does not directly relate to the applicable profession, or trade.” Refer to the article written by John Rubin, UNC School of Government, entitled “Occupational Licensing Reforms and Criminal Convictions,” located on the right side under the “IN THE NEWS” section of this e-newsletter for additional context.  
ANTI-REGULATORY LEGISLATION
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SPOTLIGHT
New Coalition Launched to Protect Professional Licensing

As lawmakers debate the extent of licensing needed for many jobs, the health, safety and welfare of the public must be considered. Highly complex and technical professions rightly require rigorous and ongoing education, examination and experience. 
Carlos Barrera, CPA, discusses various functions within public accounting, how CPAs protect the public from harm, and why removing the CPA designation would put the public at risk.
Professional licensing boards set and enforce standards for highly complex, technical professions that have a high impact on public safety and welfare. 
RESOURCES
IN THE NEWS
Arkansas Democrat Gazette: Caution on Licensing

“I am concerned that the desire to lower barriers for some occupations may inadvertently also lower standards for professions that carry high public impact.” – Mike Carroll, CPA 
Letter: Lawmakers must protect Ohio engineer’s license

As lawmakers in Columbus consider revising state workforce laws in 2020, they would do well to remember that professional licensing for advanced professions, like engineers, is rigorous for a reason. 
New Research: Exploring public opinion of professional licensing

A recent national survey was conducted to understand public opinion toward professional licensing standards. 
New Survey: Consumers concerned about rush to eliminate professional licensing

Clear Support for Rigorous Professional Licensing to Protect the Public Exists