MADISON, WI -- Sen. Rob Stafsholt (R - New Richmond) released the following statement after Governor Evers signed into law three bills he authored aimed at streaming workforce licensing:
“Over the last few years, I have heard from many frustrated constituents that are dealing with unnecessary delays, confusion and lack of communication from DSPS while attempting to get an occupational license. These unnecessary delays cause individuals to have to postpone starting their careers or stops them from entering the workforce entirely. Wisconsin’s healthcare sector is struggling to find qualified workers so we need to ensure our licensure process is streamlined and functions efficiently. We cannot afford to fall behind other states in attracting skilled individuals to live and work in our state.”
Last year, Senator Stafsholt was appointed as Chair of the Legislative Council Study Committee on Occupational Licenses. The goal of the study committee was to find solutions to ease the backlog at DSPS. The study committee focused on three primary issue areas: data tracking, workload simplification, and reciprocal credentialing. The following bills that were signed into law today fall under the area of reciprocal credentialing:
- Senate Bill 196 relating to ratification of the Counseling Compact.
- Senate Bill 197 relating to ratification of the Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact.
- Senate Bill 400 relating to ratification of the PA (physician assistant) Licensure Compact
Senate Bill 196 and 197 are both interstate compacts that the study committee members broadly supported and recommended for introduction. Senate Bill 400 is an additional interstate compact that comes from Senator Stafsholt’s continued work on streaming the occupational licensing process.
“Compacts provide a simple pathway for professionals to move seamlessly from one state to another through an agreement to recognize another state’s occupational license. This process will help so current license holders can be licensed in Wisconsin and start working here in a timely manner. These are common sense, long-term solutions to a very serious and real workforce shortage in Wisconsin.”
Interstate compacts allow states to create an agreement and implement standards for occupational licensing of specific professions. These compacts would allow professional, licensed individuals residing in a compact member state to practice in other member states without the need for multiple licenses.
Wisconsin has enacted other legislation allowing our state to participate in a number of interstate compacts including the Physical Therapy Compact, the Occupational Therapy Compact, the Enhanced Nurse Licensing Compact (eNLC), and others.