Wolf proposes looser licensing rules for barbers, other jobs


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By Mark Scolforo

Pennsylvania's governor wants to stop mandating professional licenses for 13 types of jobs, calling current regulations a barrier to employment.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf plans to release a study on Thursday of the state's professional licensure rules and proposals to improve them.

More than a million state residents currently hold professional licenses.

The report from Wolf's Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs says some licenses are valuable in setting standards and protecting consumers.

“However, in other instances, occupational licensure can serve as a form of `title protection,' shielding practitioners with a license from competition," the report said.

Wolf wants to eliminate them for auctioneers, barbers, campground membership salespeople and natural hair braiders, among others.

Replacing licensing mandates with less onerous training or registration rules will require legislative action.

Wolf says military spouses should have an easier way to transfer qualifications when they move from other states. He's proposing a reciprocity system with other states.

He also backs a repeal of an automatic 10-year ban on 13 types of licenses for those convicted of drug felonies, and would instead let licensing boards consider the criminal record.

There are 29 boards in Pennsylvania that regulate 255 types of professional licenses.

The largest single group is the state's 312,000 licensed nurses and dietitian-nutritionists. There are only 42 maritime pilots qualified by the Navigation Commission for the Delaware River and its Navigable Tributaries.

The study found that five types of professional licenses in Pennsylvania are not issued by neighboring states: cemetery associate broker, cemetery broker, geologist in training, manager of real estate records and orthotic fitter.

The report also said that three out of four disciplinary sanctions issued in the state involve five boards: nursing, cosmetology, medicine, barber examiners and vehicle manufacturers, dealers and salespersons.

The most common violations are for practicing without a license.



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