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January 13, 2018 10:04 PM

Governor Daugaard's New Occupational Licensing Proposal

At Governor Dennis Daugaard's final State of the State address, he talked about a range of topics including healthcare, taxes, and many more. He proposed plenty of bills, one including streamlining excessive occupational licensing. That means it could make it easier for those who have licensed jobs to fill the roles needed in South Dakota, rather than waiting to get a whole new license for another state. 

"South Dakota suffers from a workforce shortage in nearly every sector of the economy," said Representative Dan Ahlers. 

Governor Dennis Daugaard has put emphasis on creating a strong workforce in South Dakota. Now, he's trying to make it easier for out of state people with licensed jobs to work in the state. 

"The Trump administration is concerned that professional licensure standards hurt the economy by creating a barrier to entering many professions," said Daugaard. 

Professions like a doctor, for example. Sanford Doctor, Dan Heinemann has been a proponent of the bill since it was started two years ago. 

"I actually testified when the original bill was being deliberated by the legislature in offering Sanford's support as well as other medical clinician's in South Dakota's support of that piece of legislation," said Heinemann. 

Daugaard announced he's making strides to streamline the process with other states. 

"I reached out to the governors of North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado and all expressed in interested in a reciprocity compact for professional licensure," said Daugaard. 

The compact would make the process quicker for those coming to work in South Dakota, but it won't last forever. 

"The idea is simple. If already licensed in one state, a professional can move to another member state and practice for 18 months, enough time to earn a license in that state if one chooses to do so," said Daugaard. 

Ahlers says he likes the Governors proposed idea but thinks there needs to be more information before moving forward. 

"We need to look at it and find out what's the scope of the licensing? Are we looking at licensing across the board? Are we looking at critical needs areas?" said Ahlers. 

Ahlers says once they have more information they'll talk with constituents then professionals and go from there. 

The bill will most likely be introduced in the next couple of weeks, then it will go to committee for its first hearing.

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