Recently signed SB 16 creates a robust review process for all state-issued licenses.
SALT LAKE CITY – Amid growing labor shortages, a new government office has been formed to find ways to make it easier for Utahns to practice their chosen career without compromising the appropriate need for public safeguards.
In Utah, approximately 25% of working professions require a state license. SB 16, which was ceremonially signed by Governor Spencer Cox Tuesday, creates the Office of Professional Licensure Review, which will evaluate all requirements for licensure to ensure they are current and do not represent an undue burden for practicing in a regulated field.
“This new office represents an intentional move toward reducing unnecessary barriers to workforce development,” said Governor Cox. “Too often licensing requirements become out-dated or too restrictive. This office will help us make sure our licensed professionals are still meeting requirements to protect public safety while also opening opportunities for Utah workers.”
The bill, sponsored by Senator Curtis Bramble and Representative Joel Ferry, was passed by the Utah legislature in February. Once officially formed, staff will create a schedule to ensure requirements for licensing are reviewed at least once every 10 years. Professions will be prioritized for review each year based on market and labor demands. Findings of those reviews will be presented to the state legislature, who will consider recommendations and propose changes.
“This is an important new function for the state of Utah and will enable Utah’s occupational regulations to keep up with the demand of its growing workforce needs,” said Utah Department of Commerce Executive Director Margaret Busse. “Ongoing review will make licensing reform a part of the state’s regulatory DNA. Instead of being reactive to changes in the professional standards, we’ll be proactive to change.”
The office will be housed under the Department of Commerce, but will review licensing requirements across state agencies. Work is currently underway to recruit a director and analysts to staff the office. Review work will begin later this year. The full text of SB 16 can be found here .
About the Department of Commerce: The mission of the Utah Department of Commerce is to strengthen trust in Utah’s commercial activities. We do this through regulation, enforcement, and education. The Utah Department of Commerce has eight divisions, representing various economic industries. More information can be found at commerce.utah.gov.
Utah Department of Commerce
Cell: (385) 315-4536