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.
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.