Texas and Iowa are the latest states to begin issuing privileges under the interstate Physical Therapy Compact. Compacts (agreements between individual states that allow licensed workers to move between states with minimal requirements) are a useful way to ease the burden of workers moving between states with licensing requirements.
News and Commentary
State lawmakers in Texas are working to remove some of the barriers that people with criminal records face in getting occupational licenses. Both the House and Senate are working on bipartisan bills that would require clear guidelines for what rejected applicants can do to meet the license guidelines.
A bill recently proposed by Arkansas State Senator John Cooper has proposed a new bill to create a waiver system that ex-criminals could use to get a hearing in front of an occupational licensing board. It could open up opportunities for people whose previous crimes disqualified them from receiving a license.
Why does Arkansas see a higher rate of recidivism than other states? University of Central Arkansas researchers point to the state’s occupational licensing requirements as a potential reason why. General occupational licensing laws like “good character” clauses can be broadly used to discriminate against ex-prisoners. This fits in with the statistical trend of higher recidivism among states with heavy occupational licensing burdens.