Subscribe to our email list
Read the latest edition of NASBA's Legislative E-News
Read the latest edition of NASBA's Legislative E-News
January 2018
Eleven States Chosen for Occupational Licensing Policy Study
In a joint project between the National Conference of State Legislatures, National Governors Association, and the Council of State Governments, 11 states were selected to participate in a peer learning consortium focused on occupational licensing policy.
The 11 states (Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Nevada, Wisconsin, and Utah) will become familiar with occupational licensing policy in their own state, learn about occupational licensing best practices in other states, and begin implementing actions to remove barriers to labor market entry and improve portability and reciprocity. 
Learn More about the Consortium
Western Governors' Association Proposes Temporary License Interstate Compact - Workforce Development Initiative
South Dakota Governor Dennis Dauggard, Chair of the Western Governors' Association, is working to bridge the gap between prospective workers and employers in western states by eliminating bureaucratic barriers to licensed occupations.  The U.S. Department of Labor and the Western Governors' Association are in the process of developing an Interstate Comact for Temporary Licensure of Professionals, which would offer a temporary 18-month license for individuals who are already licensed in another state. 
As of this Legislative E-news, two western Boards of Accountancy (South Dakota and Wyoming) have been asked to provide input on the proposed language.  Click here to see the Wyoming Board of Certified Public Accountants' response. 
NASBA has been working directly with those Boards of Accountancy asked to comment on the proposed Interstate Compact for Temporary Licensure of Professionals, along with the AICPA, to ensure all concerns of the accounting profession are included in the submitted response.  If your State Board of Accountancy is asked to provide input on the proposed language, or you would like additional information, we encourage you to contact John Johnson, NASBA’s Director of Legislative and Governmental Affairs, at jjohnson@nasba.org or 615.880.4232.     
Additional materials related to the Compact
Sessions Changes Course on DOJ Marijuana Enforcement Policy
On January 1, 2018, recreational marijuana became legal in California. A few days later, on January 4, U.S. Attorney Gen. Jeff Sessions rescinded multiple memos that have guided the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) approach to marijuana enforcement since 2013.  In so doing, Sessions issued a memo stating that nationwide guidance specific to marijuana enforcement is unnecessary and is rescinded, effective immediately.”  As a result, states where marijuana, especially recreational marijuana, is legalized have been left to guess as to how individual U.S. attorneys may approach marijuana enforcement.  Previously, the DOJ had guided U.S. attorneys to deprioritize marijuana enforcement except in certain circumstances.  Individual U.S. attorneys are now directed to apply “prosecutorial principles that provide them all the necessary tools to disrupt criminal organizations, tackle the growing drug crisis, and thwart violent crime across our country.”  
It is important to note that the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment, which must be renewed annually, prohibits the Department of Justice from expending funds to enforce federal law with respect to states where medical marijuana is legalized.  This protection for medical marijuana has been the subject of much debate as Attorney General Sessions has requested that the Amendment be excluded from upcoming appropriations bills.
As reported in our September 2017 E-news, Attorney General Sessions has also recently called into question the regulatory structure and enforcement by states where recreational marijuana has been legalized.  These developments and the resulting uncertainty may heighten the focus on state board positions on discipline relating to CPAs providing services to marijuana-related businesses and individuals. 
Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact John Johnson, Director of Legislative and Governmental Affairs, at jjohnson@nasba.org or 615.880.4232.
Arkansas Board Issues Medical Marijuana Declaratory Order
On August 18, 2017, the Arkansas State Board of Public Accountancy issued a declaratory order in response to a petition asking whether “CPAs in Arkansas can perform accounting services for businesses and individuals in the medical marijuana industry without violating any board rules or ethical standards.” 
Wisconsin Governor Signs Legislation Requiring Mandatory CPE
Assembly Bill 188 was signed by Governor Walker on November 20, 2017.  The new law establishes mandatory Continuing Professional Education (CPE) for CPA license renewal on and after December 15, 2021.  These CPE requirements apply the latest neuroscience research in learning, and allow for flexibility by allowing informal learning to satisfy up to half of the 80 credits required every two years, and five-minute increments for those activities measured by time.
This legislation also included several other provisions important to the Wisconsin Board of Accountancy. The provisions: 
  1. Update CPA Exam and license education requirements in order to expedite approval of a candidate’s application (accomplished through the consideration of accreditation and expanding Accounting Examining Board discretion, replacing Emergency Rule 1713).
  2. Allow the state of Wisconsin to participate in national CPA licensing databases to help CPA regulators and clients confirm CPA license status in order to protect the public.
To view Wisconsin Assembly Bill AB 188, click on the above “LEGISLATION BY TOPIC” link and then on the “CPE Related” button; you may also click on “LEGISLATION BY JURISDICTION” and then on Wisconsin within the map to see a list of legislative bills from the state.
Michigan Becomes First State to File Firm Mobility Legislation in 2018
Although Firm Mobility failed to advance in Nevada and New Jersey in 2017, six other states signed firm mobility legislation into law during this past legislative session. Those states were Montana, New Mexico, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, and Florida. Firm Mobility legislation filed in Massachusetts in 2017 is still active, and has been carried over to its 2018 legislative session.  As of today, 22 jurisdictions have implemented Firm Mobility, and two states have active legislation. 
To view the Michigan and Massachusetts Firm Mobility legislation, click on the above “LEGISLATION BY TOPIC” link and then on the “Firm Mobility” button; you may also click on “LEGISLATION BY JURISDICTION” and then click on the jurisdiction within the map to see a list of legislative bills from the state.
47 Jurisdictions Adopted the Revised Definition of Attest
In May 2014, the Uniform Accountancy Act (UAA) revised the definition of attest to include any examination, review, or agreed-upon procedure performed using the Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE). 
By the end of 2016, 40 jurisdictions had adopted the updated, comprehensive definition of attest, which included 11 jurisdictions in 2016. In 2017, seven additional states had their attest legislation signed into law.
Attest Legislation Signed into law in 2017: Arkansas (3/1/17); Utah (3/21/17); New Mexico (3/21/17); Idaho (4/16/17); Nevada (5/9/17); Vermont (5/23/17); and Missouri (6/23/17).
For those jurisdictions that have not moved forward in adopting the updated attest language found in the 7th edition of the Uniform Accountancy Act, and would like additional information or assistance, please contact John Johnson, NASBA’s Director of Legislative and Governmental Affairs, at jjohnson@nasba.org or 615.880.4232.  
Follow us on our social media channels.
Twitter Facebook Instagram LinkedIn YouTube
SPOTLIGHT
Chair Theodore W. Long, Jr., CPA, began his inaugural address with “Promises, promises. Who hasn’t said or heard the phrase, ‘promises, promises? One thing that is promised is tomorrow…regulators must adapt to changes to ensure a safer tomorrow for the public they serve.” 
RESOURCES
IN THE NEWS