Governor Asa Hutchinson on Friday, February 14, announced formation of a working group to pursue continued reform of occupational licensing in Arkansas. A group appointed by him two years spearheaded reforms adopted in 2019.
The American Institutes for Research has released a report of case studies looking into the work of the original 11 states that were part of the Occupational Licensing Policy Learning Consortium. Arkansas continues to participate in the Consortium, which was created in 2017 with a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor and administered by the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Governors Association, and the Council of State Governments. The case study of the Arkansas initiative focuses on how coalitions of stakeholders were built to achieve results.
The 92nd Arkansas General Assembly this year considered 83 bills related to occupational licensing and approved 41. Several of the new state laws enacted recommendations of the Red Tape Reduction Working Group. This report provides a summary of the new legislation.
The Red Tape Reduction Working Group (RTRWG) on Monday, November 19, adopted its report for presentation to Governor Asa Hutchinson. The report recommends five approaches to legislation dealing with occupational licensing and suggests 10 areas for future study and development. The RTRWG plans to meet and review proposed legislation prior to convening of the General Assembly’s regular session on January 14, 2019.
Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Red Tape Reduction Working Group (RTRWG) formally received its advisory group’s report at its meeting on Monday, October 22, in Little Rock. The Occupational Licensing Advisory Group presented the 50-page report and responded to questions about its recommendations for legislation and for future study. The RTRWG is to meet by teleconference in November 8 to discuss its review of the document and plans to meet again on November 19 and will possibly issue its final recommendations to the governor.
The Arkansas Occupational Licensing Advisory Group (OLAG) has released a report on its work as part of Arkansas’s involvement in the national Occupational Licensing Learning Consortium. The 51-page report includes recommendations for legislation and for continued study of occupational licensing issues in Arkansas. The governor’s Red Tape Reduction Working Group (RTRWG) will receive the report and consider it in the development of its recommendations, which are expected by the end of November.
In a letter to Arkansas state agency directors, Governor Asa Hutchinson directed a review of procedures to ensure full compliance with Act 248 of 2017, which requires agencies to promulgate rules and regulations promoting the portability of occupational licenses for active-duty or recently discharged service personnel and their spouses. “Attracting military members, veterans, and their families to Arkansas enhances our workforce and promotes economic development,” the governor wrote. “I need your help in this initiative.” Governor Hutchinson also asked agency directors to make sure their websites prominently display license portability information.
The National Conference of State Legislatures has produced a new series of four publications that focus on the unique challenges and barriers related to occupational licensing for four specific population groups. Each report outlines specific state policy options to address the unique challenges faced by the individual population.
Three states have been chosen to work with Credential Engine, a non-profit organization, as part of their strategic education, workforce, and economic development efforts. The organization recently announced partnerships with Kansas, Michigan, and Ohio to increase occupational credential transparency, develop credential literacy, improve alignment between credential offerings and outcomes, and better inform credentialing decisions by students, workers, and citizens.