Congress Takes First Step in Occupational Licensing Reform

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

With Congress looking at steps to tackle excessive licensing burdens, the House and Senate passed the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353). Among the amendments adopted was a version of the New Hope Act, legislation that would allow states to use federal education funds to identify and examine licenses or certifications that (1) pose an unwarranted barrier to entry into the workforce and (2) do not protect the health, safety, or welfare of consumers. With this law, states could use this money to form a commission or task force to review existing licensing requirements in their state and identify ones that should be eliminated or curtailed.

NSPE has worked tirelessly with Congress to ensure that occupational licensing reform would not have a direct impact on public health and safety and only rigorously trained and tested individuals would be allowed to practice engineering and in related design fields. NSPE will continue to work on multiple fronts to promote and protect the public health, safety, and welfare in the protection of the professional engineer’s license. The measure now awaits final approval by President Trump.