Eager to welcome workers, legislatures move quickly on universal licensing recognition
The number of states introducing (and advancing) legislation that would grant universal recognition to licensed workers from out of state seems to be growing almost daily.
In addition to Nebraska’s LB263, which was heard in the Government Committee almost two weeks ago, there are at least seven states that are moving what I would call “full” recognition bills—meaning that they’ll recognize other state licenses in a broad array of occupations—for purposes of licensing in their state.
Some states, including Missouri and Utah, are seeking to expand their current universal recognition laws that they enacted last year to include Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) and work experience in non-licensing states as adequate for licensure in their states. Sen. Tom Briese’s LB263 already covers those two areas, by the way.
As I’ve insisted for several years now, there is a genuinely nonpartisan movement in state legislatures focused on building the workforce, which is unsurprising given the economic needs all states face, particularly now. Mississippi’s bill, HB1263, recently made it through their House on a UNANIMOUS vote. It’s been sent to their Senate, where it seems likely to pass, as well.
What is surprising, though, is how fast some states can move licensing reform legislation. Take, for instance, West Virginia’s HB2007. The bill was filed for introduction last Wednesday, February 10. Lawmakers already had a committee hearing and passed the bill on first reading in their House today, only 6 days later. It’s on the calendar for a second reading on Wednesday.
Nebraska’s not plowing any new ground with LB263. States throughout the country, governed by Republicans and Democrats alike, realize that if they want to increase their supply of trained and experienced workers, they need to make it easier for them to join their workforce without jumping through too many hoops.