Threats to Professional Licensure: State List

Wisconsin

Legislation requiring the review and analysis of licensing requirements, resulting in recommendations to remove any unnecessary or overly burdensome licensing requirements. This piece of legislation does not specifically target professional engineers.
Legislative/Executive Order/Regulatory:
Legislative
Bill Number:
Status:
AB 64: Signed by Governor Walker with partial vetoes on 9/21/2017.
SB 30: Signed by Governor Walker with partial vetoes on 9/21/2017.
AB 369: Failed upon adjournment on 3/22/2018.
SB 288: Failed upon adjournment on 3/22/2018.
Summary:

Multiple bills were introduced in the Wisconsin Assembly and Senate that seek to undermine engineering licensure.

AB 64 and SB 30 are Governor Walker’s budget bills. In January when Governor Walker announced his budget, he made it a priority to slow the increase in occupational licensing requirements in Wisconsin. With the final approval of AB 64, an Occupational License Study is created. This study requires the Department of Safety and Professional Services to submit a report to the Governor, the chief of the Legislative Reference Bureau, and the Legislature that includes the Department’s recommendations for the elimination of occupational licenses. The Department’s evaluation study of the elimination of occupational licenses must consider several considerations, including an evaluation of whether the public reasonably benefits from the occupational license requirement and whether the unregulated practice of the profession, occupation, or trade can clearly harm or endanger the health, safety, or welfare of the public.
 
AB 369 and SB 288 were introduced on June 2, 2017 and would create the Occupational License Review Council. The council is required to create a report on their recommendations for the elimination of occupational licenses in this state, or the modification of laws and rules governing occupational licenses, and the reduction or elimination of occupational license continuing and other education requirements. The Legislative Reference Bureau would then create legislation based on the Council’s recommendations. During the executive session of SB 288, the Committee on Public Benefits, Licensing and State-Federal Relations adopted an amendment to ensure that there would be a public comment period before the Council makes recommendations. These measure failed to pass before adjournment. 
 
These pieces of legislation would have a significant negative affect on professional engineers in the state if the Council chose to eliminate the licensing of professional engineers or modify the professional engineer licensing law and rules, including reducing or eliminating the continuing education requirements in Wisconsin. NSPE alerted the Wisconsin Society of Professional Engineers to all of these bills and is working with WSPE to ensure that engineering licensure is protected in Wisconsin.