Miami, FL (STL.News) Tuesday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis unveiled his new occupational licensing reform agenda to increase professional opportunity for Floridians. The Governor also highlighted the Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s (DBPR) progress toward eliminating barriers to employment since the Governor’s “Deregathon” event in January.
The Governor was joined by Vatrice Clorie, Eva Locke and Pat Levenson: three individuals who have been unnecessarily harmed by Florida’s occupational licensing requirements.
“There are many reasons Florida is a great place to find meaningful work, but there is always more we can do to get government out of the way and increase opportunity,” said Governor DeSantis. “The proposals I’ve announced today will build on our efforts to remove unnecessary, burdensome regulations and barriers for Floridians looking to pursue their dreams. I look forward to working with our partners in the Legislature to get these reforms across the finish line and I am excited about what we can accomplish to increase opportunities for Floridians.”
“DBPR continues to move the needle and provide real results for more efficient licensing and fair business regulation,” said DBPR Secretary Halsey Beshears. “By reducing more than fifty of these barriers as identified by the Governor’s Deregathon initiative, I’m proud to say that we are opening the doors of professional licensure for Florida’s hardworking families.”
First, the Governor announced his support for a comprehensive bill to limit or remove unnecessary occupational licensing requirements for professions that require licensure from DBPR. Importantly, the bill will include a provision that prohibits DBPR and any board under DBPR’s jurisdiction from disciplining a current licensee and preventing a prospective licensee based solely on the licensee’s defaulting or becoming delinquent on a federal or state-guaranteed student loan or scholarship obligation.
Second, the Governor outlined the need for a “global licensing” bill that would allow an individual’s occupational license in a certain county to be valid in all other counties in Florida. For example, if a drywall contractor received a license in Miami-Dade County, the bill would allow for that license to be valid in Pinellas County. This will allow more Floridians to more freely conduct their business in multiple counties without having to go through duplicative and burdensome licensing requirements.
Third, the Governor advocated for a bill to “sunset” all occupational licenses. The sunset bill would require the Florida Legislature to decide on a regular basis to reauthorize or remove each license. This practice will ensure that the Legislature considers whether each license is necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of Floridians.
Finally, the Governor announced the launch of DBPR’s second phase of its Business Information Portal. The portal offers prospective business owners and professionals a one-stop-shop to learn all state and local requirements to become a licensed professional or start and operate a business in the state of Florida. The portal currently only has state-level information.
Since “Deregathon,” DBPR and Florida’s Professional Licensing Boards have accomplished the following to reduce barriers to licensing and regulatory burdens:
Reducing Barriers to Licensing by:
- Amending the asbestos licensing rules to offer applicants three exam attempts before they need to reapply.
- Offering athlete agents a 50% reduction to the application fee, lowering the fee from $500 to $250.
- Lowering education hours from 18 to 16 for Community Association Manager.
- Eliminating the personal financial statement in the application for electrical contractor licensure, accepting certain certifications in lieu of job lists as proof of experience, and eliminating the 21-day waiting period and 7-hour continuing education requirements for examination retakes.
- Adoption of 2018 Appraiser Qualification Board criteria to reduce the education and experience required for certified residential appraiser from 2500 to 1500 and replacing four-year college degree requirement with advanced coursework, reducing the time required to for applicants from 24 to 12 months, and for certified general applicants from 30 to 18 months.
- Veterinarian licensure streamlined by requiring applicants to submit all fees upfront with application to enable department to automatically issue license upon receiving a passing score in order to process within 48 hours.
- Providing electronic licensure certifications for electrical contractors, allowing licensees obtaining licensure in other states to request and pay for license certifications, improving turnaround time to 48 hours.
- Reducing the experience requirements for certified contractor applicants and making application form revisions, providing additional direction to applicants which results in less application deficiencies.
- Processing Boxing Commission applications for seconds and trainers exclusively online to streamline and approve licenses within 48 hours.
- Updating the Boxing Commission’s zero-tolerance policy for prohibited substances to reflect world-recognized standards, enabling more athletes to obtain licenses and compete.
- Updating the following rule changes for landscape architecture for experience required for licensure that is gained while completing one’s degree to be credited on an hour for hour basis, the same rate as post-degree experience and the examination application fee of $100 will be waived for applicants taking the examination within 2 years of completing their degree.
- Reduced the initial licensure burdens for cosmetology applicants by removing the requirement for applicants to complete remedial hours after failing the licensure examination two or more times.
- Reducing the provisional license fee for professional geology by 50% from $400 to $200.
Reducing Regulatory Burdens by:
- Implementation of an online, self-printing licensing process for the following professions: certified public accountants; cosmetology; barbers; landscape architecture, auctioneers, and building code administrators and inspectors, which allows for online self-printing of licenses as well as renewal or duplicate licenses made available without a fee.
- Reducing fees, modernizing the responsible supervisory control requirements, and reducing continuing education requirements for licensed architects and interior designers.
- Lowering continuing education hours from 20 to 15 hours to renew a license as a Community Association Manager and for persons seeking to reactivate an inactive or delinquent license.
- Reducing initial requirements for the De Minimus application, reducing required Quarterly Report filings, identifying additional minor offenses, and eliminating college transcripts requirements.
- Amending the home inspectors’ rules to reduce the continuing education provider application fee by 50% from $250 to $125.
- Amending mold-related services rule to reduce continuing education provider application fee by 50% from $250 to $125.
- Lowering the biennial renewal fees for real estate licensees by 50%, providing a $8.8 million savings to licensees.
- Expanding veterinarian services which can be offered by Limited Service clinics to include micro-chipping and allow them to offer clinics more often at the same location and a rule change which reduces impediments to licensure by allowing applicants for licensure by endorsement to take two hours of continuing education in laws and rules in lieu of the Florida exam.
- The web-based Continuing Education Provider Reporting Portal was launched, replacing the outdated reporting tool. The new tool does not require any external downloads and uses the department’s Online Services system for user authentication. It provides immediate email confirmation to providers and improves the transmission of completion records from providers.
- Lowering the accounting and auditing required hours from 20 to 8 and reactivation requirements changed to a maximum of 120 CPE hours with 30 in accounting and auditing and 8 in board-approved ethics.