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Government Affairs

As part of the overall ICE mission, the ICE Government Affairs committee has been hard at work monitoring a variety of issues at the federal and state level related to credentialing and advocating for best practices for certification and certificate programs. 

Use the resources below to stay up-to-date with discussions and issues at the federal and state level related to credentialing. ICE will be adding a function to this page soon that will allow you to submit issues you are following that might be of interest to other ICE member organizations. In the meantime, please email ICE with federal, state or regulatory issues you are currently following (droosendaal@credentialingexcellence.org). 

What's Happening in the World of Government Affairs?

Review updates and highlights from the ICE Government Affairs Committee.

Department of Labor Opinion Letter

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued an Opinion Letter endorsing the decision of a nonprofit credentialing organization to classify the graders of its examinations as volunteers, rather than as employees or independent contractors. (Read the article written by Jerry Jacobs and Julia Judish, Pillsbury Law Firm).

FTC Staff Guidance on Active Supervision of State Regulatory Boards Controlled by Market Participants.

California Studies Occupational Licensing Impacts  

Update on Louisiana House Bill 748 and 378

Louisiana House Bill 748, the Occupational Licensing Review Act, was revised and passed by the Louisiana Senate. The Senate adopted an amendment requiring that the information gathered during the Governor’s review of occupational licensing laws will be made public. HB 748, as amended, was signed by the Governor.

Louisiana House Bill 372,  the Occupational Board Compliance Act, was amended to remove the objectionable language limiting the use of “certified” to individuals who were also licensed. This bill has been signed by the Governor.

Update on Missouri HB 1719 and HB 1500

The bill was signed into law as expected and wrapped into an omnibus package before the legislature ended its session this past spring.  Productive conversations with staff in Missouri legislature continue in order to determine a solution that addresses our concerns by the next legislative session.

HB 1719: See pp. 35 and 37 https://house.mo.gov/billtracking/bills181/hlrbillspdf/4489H.05S.pdf

HB 1500:  See pp. 2 and 3 of, in the definitions of “certification” and “registration” https://house.mo.gov/billtracking/bills181/hlrbillspdf/5205S.12T.pdf

Copyright Issues

Copyright Office Rulemaking and Fee Notice

Last year the Federal Register included a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Copyright Office fees. If any of you are interested in submitting individual comments, the deadline for comment submission was July 23, 2018.

 It appears from this notice that the Copyright Office is proposing no fee increase in the secure test examination fee rate (currently $250 per hour, per staff member). The office is proposing an application fee of $75 for group registration of secure test items, which would be the same as the proposed level for the Standard Application fee for electronically submitted applications (an increase from the current $55 fee).

ATP has been following the Copyright Issue and the impacts on testing companies as well as certification organizations. Because this issue is moving quickly, ATP suggests sending the US Copyright Office this letter to express your concern.

ICE is following this issue as well and may have additional guidance specifically for certification organizations soon.

Contact the Library of Congress
Copyright Office
101 Independence Ave. SE
Washington, DC 20559-6000

Robert J. Kasunic, Associate Register of Copyrights and Director of Registration Policy and Practice
Erik Bertin, Deputy Director of Registration Policy and Practice
Abioye Mosheim, Attorney Advisor

California's Little Hoover Commission

The CA Little Hoover Commission on State Government Organization and Economy is an independent state oversight agency investigating the impact of occupational licensing on upward mobility and opportunities for entrepreneurship and innovation for Californians, particularly those of modest means. The Commission will also examine the result of occupational licensing on the cost and availability of services provided by licensed practitioners to consumers. The Commission also will assess the connection between occupational licensing regulations and the underground economy. The Commission will explore the balance between protecting consumers and enabling Californians to enter the occupation of their choice. 

White House Licensing Report 

"This report outlines the growth of licensing over the past several decades, its costs and benefits, and its impacts on workers and work arrangements. The report recommends several best practices to ensure that licensing protects consumers without placing unnecessary restrictions on employment, innovation, or access to important goods and services." -Occupational Licensing: A Framework for Policymakers

The Occupational Licensing: A Framework for Policymakers report was prepared by the Department of the Treasury Office of Economic Policy, the Council of Economic Advisers, and the Department of Labor. 

Download the Occupational Licensing: A Framework for Policymakers report

The Hamilton Project Discussion Paper: Reforming Occupational Licensing

"Occupational licensing has been among the fastest growing labor market institutions in the United States since World War II. The evidence from the economics literature suggests that licensing has had an important influence on wage determination, benefits, employment, and prices in ways that impose net costs on society with little improvement to service quality, health, and safety. To improve occupational licensing practices, I propose four specific reforms." - Reforming Occupational Licensing Policies, 2015

This discussion paper is a proposal from the author, Morris M. Kleiner. As emphasized in The Hamilton Project’s original strategy paper, the Project was designed in part to provide a forum for leading thinkers across the nation to put forward innovative and potentially important economic policy ideas that share the Project’s broad goals of promoting economic growth, broad-based participation in growth, and economic security. The author(s) are invited to express their own ideas in discussion papers, whether or not the Project’s staff or advisory council agrees with the specific proposals. This discussion paper is offered in that spirit.

Download discussion paperReforming Occupational Licensing Policies.

Service Members/Veterans Activities 

ICE is monitoring a variety of initiatives to assist military service members and veterans with credentialing issues. Through communication with the American Legion and other veterans organizations, ICE is monitoring all activities including:

American Legion State of Credentialing Service Members and Veterans ReportThe Executive Summary for the report was released in conjunction with the credentialing round table the Legion held last February. The Legion has been a tremendous supporter of facilitating credentialing for our Nation’s heroes for over 20 years now and this report demonstrates their continued commitment to the important issue.  

National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA 2016): The National Defense Appropriations Act approved for FY 2016 contains a specific, new provision on the subject of certification accreditation entitled, "Quality Assurance of Certification Programs and Standards for Professional Credentials Obtained by Members of the Armed Forces" which could impact certification bodies which applicability to the military/veterans. Excerpt

Career-Ready Student Veterans Act of 2015. S.1938 (House Companion Bill HR 2360): This bill adds the following new criteria for state approval, for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) educational assistance, of applications of educational institutions providing veterans with non-accredited courses:

  1. Any program designed to prepare an individual for state licensure or certification must meet state instructional curriculum licensure or certification requirements, and
  2. Any program designed to prepare an individual for employment pursuant to standards developed by a state board or agency in an occupation requiring approval or licensure must be approved or licensed by that state board or agency