FREEDOM TO WORK/OLB REFORM. (NEW)

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
House Bill 770 (Public) Filed Monday, April 15, 2019
AN ACT TO CLARIFY AND SIMPLIFY A LICENSEE'S QUALIFICATIONS FOR LICENSURE AND TO REQUIRE RECOGNITION BY LICENSING BOARDS OF CERTAIN APPRENTICESHIP AND TRAINING EXPERIENCES.
Intro. by Stevens, Bell, Jones, Zachary.

Status: Ch. SL 2019-91 (Jul 8 2019)

SOG comments (1):

Long title change

Senate committee substitute to the 3rd edition changed the long title.  Original title was AN ACT TO REQUIRE ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES, GOVERNMENTAL OFFICIALS, AND COURTS IN CIVIL PROCEEDINGS TO CONSIDER A CERTIFICATE OF RELIEF FAVORABLY, TO REQUIRE INCREASED STANDARDS FOR A LICENSING BOARD'S USE OF AN APPLICANT'S CRIMINAL HISTORY IN MAKING DETERMINATIONS, AND TO REQUIRE RECOGNITION BY LICENSING BOARDS OF CERTAIN APPRENTICESHIP AND TRAINING EXPERIENCES.

Bill History:

H 770/S.L. 2019-91

Bill Summaries:

  • Summary date: Jul 8 2019 - More information

    AN ACT TO CLARIFY AND SIMPLIFY A LICENSEE'S QUALIFICATIONS FOR LICENSURE AND TO REQUIRE RECOGNITION BY LICENSING BOARDS OF CERTAIN APPRENTICESHIP AND TRAINING EXPERIENCES. SL 2019-91. Enacted July 8, 2019. Effective October 1, 2019.


  • Summary date: Jun 26 2019 - More information

    Senate amendment to the 4th edition makes the following changes.

    Modifies the proposed definition of State agency licensing board, set forth in GS 93B-1, to exclude from the term the NC Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission and the NC Sheriffs' Education and Training Standards Commission.


  • Summary date: Jun 19 2019 - More information

    Senate committee substitute to the 3rd edition makes the following changes.

    Amends the act's titles.

    Makes technical and clarifying changes to GS 93B-1, which sets forth the Chapter's defined terms. Adds the term State agency licensing board, defining the term to mean any State agency, staffed by full-time State employees, which as party of its regular functions issues licenses. Sets forth a nonexclusive list of State agency licensing boards and the profession or occupation for which the board, agency, or officer can issue licenses.

    Amends GS 93B-2 to require occupational licensing boards to also include in its annual report to the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the specified NCGA committee (1) the number of applicants for a license and the number of licenses granted and (2) the number of applicants with a conviction record and of that number, the number of licenses granted, denied for any reason, and denied because of the conviction. Adds a new annual reporting requirement for State agency licensing boards, requiring the boards to file an electronic report that includes this same newly required data of occupational licensing boards with the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the specified NCGA committee by October 31 of each year.

    Amends GS 93B-8.1, concerning the use of criminal history records by occupational licensing boards, expanding the scope of the provisions to include State agency licensing boards. Modifies and adds to the previously proposed changes to the statute and now provides the following. Subject to federal law, allows a board to deny an applicant on the basis of a criminal conviction only if the board finds that the criminal conviction history is directly related to the duties and responsibilities for the licensed occupation or the criminal conviction is violent or sexual in criminal nature. Explicitly prohibits a board from automatically denying licensure on the basis of the applicant's criminal history (previously, qualified the prohibition by stating that the laws governing a particular licensing board controls), and adds a new explicit prohibition against a board denying licensure based on a determination that a conviction is for a crime of moral turpitude. Maintains the eight existing factors the board must consider prior to denying licensure on the basis of a criminal conviction, and adds to the factors required to be considered (1) the completion of or active participation in rehabilitative drug or alcohol treatment and (2) a certificate of relief granted under state law (previously, did not add to the factors; instead, previously required a certificate of relief to be considered favorably). Adds a new requirement for a board that denies an applicant a license to: (1) make written findings specifying which of the ten factors the board deemed relevant to the applicant and explaining its reasoning for the denial, signed by the board's presiding officer; (2) provide or serve a signed copy of the written findings to the applicant within 60 days of the denial; and (3) retain a signed copy of the written findings for no less than five years. Adds a new requirement for each board to include in its application for licensure and on its public website: (1) whether the board requires applicants to consent to a criminal background check, (2) the ten factors the board must consider when making a determination of licensure, and (3) the appeals process pursuant to GS Chapter 150B if the board denies licensure in whole or in part because of a criminal conviction. Requires boards that require criminal history records to require the provider to provide the applicant with access to the applicant's criminal history record or otherwise deliver a copy to the applicant. Adds a new requirement for a board to notify an applicant in writing of specific issues in an applicant's criminal history that will or can prevent the board from issuing a license, with notification in sufficient time for the applicant to provide additional documentation prior to the board's final decision. Grants an applicant 30 days to either correct any inaccuracy in the record or submit evidence of mitigation or rehabilitation for the board's consideration. Requires a board denying licensure following a hearing to include in its written order specific reference to any criminal conviction(s) considered as any basis for denial and the rationale for denial, as well as the appeal process and the applicant's ability to reapply. Prohibits restricting applicants from reapplying for licensure for more than two years from the date of the most recent application. Modifies the proposed petition process to require the petition to include a criminal history record report, the cost of which is paid by the applicant. Allows a board to predetermine the petitioner's criminal history is likely grounds for license denial only after the board has applied the specified statutory requirements.  Sets out provisions governing the board's delegation of the predetermination authority so that the determinations can be made in a timely manner. Sets out items that must be included in the notice to the applicant that the applicant would likely be denied licensure based on the applicant's criminal history. Makes conforming changes. Specifies that a predetermination of licensure denial is not a final agency decision. Requires the board to inform an individual of the board's determination within 45 days (was, 30 days) of receipt of the petition. Adds a new provision authorizing boards to charge a fee up to $45 per petition. Makes organizational changes.

    Amends GS 93B-8.6 as follows.  Makes a clarifying change to the definition of apprenticeship. Amends the definition of career technical education to also include programs of study, clusters, and pathways approved by the State Board of Community Colleges. Provides that an occupational licensing board must grant a license to an applicant meeting the specified criteria, unless otherwise required by federal law. Amends the criteria by (1) adding that the applicant has met any other requirements for licensure set forth in the law or rules related to the board, except for pre-licensing education requirements and (2) including completion of apprenticeships approved by the North Carolina State Approving Agency. Makes additional technical changes.


  • Summary date: May 2 2019 - More information

    House committee substitute to the 2nd edition makes the following changes.

    Modifies the proposed additions to GS 93B-8.1 to no longer allow a licensing board to charge a fee for an individual to petition the board for a determination of whether the individual's criminal history disqualifies the individual from obtaining the license.


  • Summary date: Apr 29 2019 - More information

    House committee substitute to the 1st edition makes the following changes.

    Modifies proposed GS 93B-8.6 to exempt from the statute's requirements (regarding recognition of apprenticeships and training) occupational licensing boards governing professions which require advanced knowledge acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual study such as a bachelor's or advanced degree. Now directs the State Board of Community Colleges, rather than the Commissioner of Labor, and licensing boards to adopt rules to implement the statute.


  • Summary date: Apr 16 2019 - More information

    Amends GS 15A-173.2(d) to require rather than permit an administrative agency, governmental official, or civil court to consider a certificate of relief favorably in determining whether a conviction should result in disqualification.

    Amends GS 93B-8.1 to prohibit an occupational licensing board from automatically denying licensure on the basis of an applicant's criminal history unless federal law governing a particular occupation provides otherwise (was, unless the law governing a particular occupational licensing board). Now provides that if a board is authorized to deny a license on the basis of a verified conviction of any crime (was, also for commission of a crime involving moral turpitude), the board is permitted to deny the license if it finds by clear and convincing evidence that the applicant's criminal history is directly related to the duties and responsibilities for the licensed occupation (previously, no burden of proof was specified nor was the board required to directly link the applicant's criminal history to the occupation for denial). Maintains the eight factors a licensing authority must consider in making its determination. Adds that a certificate of relief must be considered favorably by the board.

    Adds a new procedure for applicants to petition a board at any time for a determination of whether the individual's criminal history will disqualify the individual from obtaining a license. Requires the board to make a determination pursuant to the standard parameters it would in reviewing an application and notify the individual of the determination within 30 days of receipt of the petition. Allows the board to charge a fee of no more than $25 per petition. Mandates that the board notify an individual of a denied petition and include the grounds for the board's reasoning, that the individual has a right to contest the decision, the earliest date the individual can reapply for a license, and further evidence of rehabilitation that will be considered upon reapplication. Specifies that a determination of eligibility upon a petition is binding if an applicant fulfills all other requirements for the occupational license and the applicant's criminal history record is accurate and remains unchanged at the time of application for licensure. 

    Enacts GS 93B-8.6 to require a licensing board to grant licensure to an applicant who has completed an apprenticeship approved by the State or federal Department of Labor or otherwise permitted by law, and who passed an examination, if necessary. Defines apprenticeship to mean a program that meets specified federal guidelines completed under a State-licensed practitioner of that occupation or a State-licensed school. Requires each licensing board to establish a passing score for the board's exams taken by applicants who have completed apprenticeships that cannot exceed what is required under the board's standard licensing processes. Prohibits a board from requiring an exam when one is not required for the standard licensing process, or from requiring apprenticeship hours beyond that which are required by the relevant licensing authority or statute for that occupation. Requires that applicants be allowed to apply training hours earned through career technical education provided by NC public schools and colleges towards the licensure requirements in the same occupation in accordance with the standards and procedures authorized under the Chapter. Directs the Commissioner of Labor and licensing boards to adopt rules to implement the statute.

    Applies to certificates of relief granted or applications for licensure submitted on or after October 1, 2019.


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