AN ACT TO CLARIFY AND SIMPLIFY A LICENSEE'S QUALIFICATIONS FOR LICENSURE.
Makes changes to GS Chapter 9B, Occupational Licensing Boards.
Modifies and adds to the Chapter's definitions set out in GS 93B-1. Modifies the definition of occupational licensing board to include any board, committee, commission, or other state agency which is established for the purpose of regulating the entry of persons into, and the conduct within (was, and/or the conduct within), a particular profession or occupation, which is authorized to issues licenses. Maintains that the term does not include State agencies, staffed by full-time State employees, which as a part of their regular functions can issue licenses. Adds the term State agency licensing board, and defines the term to include any State agency, staffed by full-time State employees, which as part of their regular functions issue licenses. Includes a nonexclusive list of ten State agency's licensing boards and the profession or occupation for which the board, agency, or officer can issue licenses.
Amends GS 93B-2, adding to the information occupational licensing boards must annually file with the Secretary of State, Attorney General, and specified NCGA Committee: (1) the number of applicants, and of that number, the number of applicants granted a license and (2) the number of applicants with a conviction record, and of that number, the number granted a license, denied a license for any reason, and denied a license because of a conviction. Creates an annual reporting requirement for State agency occupational licensing boards, to be filed annually no later than October 31 of each year, and to include the same information as that added to the occupational licensing board reports.
Amends GS 93B-8.1, adding State agency licensing boards to the scope of the statute regulating licensing boards' use of criminal history records. Further amends the statute to prohibit a board from automatically denying licensure on the basis of an applicant's criminal history (no longer qualified by a contrary controlling provision of the particular board), and now prohibits any board from denying an applicant a license based solely on conviction for a crime of moral turpitude. Modifies a board's authority to deny a license on the basis of a criminal conviction, now authorizing denial based on a criminal conviction only if the board determines that the public's safety and general welfare could be adversely affected if the board issued the applicant a license, based on the eight (existing) factors the board must consider (previously allowed a board so authorized to deny a license based on any criminal conviction or commission of a crime involving fraud or moral turpitude, verified by criminal history record, if the board determined the denial warranted after consideration of the eight factors). Adds a new requirement for a board that denies an applicant a license to: (1) make written findings specifying which of the eight factors the board deemed relevant to the applicant and explaining its reasoning for the denial, signed by the board's presiding officer; (2) provide a signed copy of the written findings to the applicant within 30 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 eight 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. Grants an applicant denied licensure the right to a rehearing on the issue before the board if the applicant has relevant evidence regarding the applicant's qualifications not previously considered by the board. Makes conforming changes to the act, removing the exemptions provided for the NC Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission and the NC Sheriffs' Education and Training Standards Commission.
Makes conforming changes to reflect the new provision prohibiting any board from denying an applicant a license based solely on conviction for a crime of moral turpitude to the following statutes: GS 83A-15 (concerning architects); GS 85B-4 and GS 85B-8 (concerning auctioneers); GS 87-47 (concerning contractors); GS 89C-21 (concerning engineers and surveyors); GS 90-14 (concerning physicians and physician assistants); GS 90-30 and GS 90-41 (concerning dentists); GS 90-113.44 (concerning substance abuse professionals); GS 90-121.2 (concerning optometrists); GS 90-154 (concerning chiropractors); GS 90-187.8 (concerning veterinarians); GS 90-202.8 (concerning podiatrists); GS 90-210.25 and GS 90-210.69 (concerning funeral service professions); GS 90-210.123 (concerning crematories); GS 90-229 (concerning dental hygienists); GS 90-249.1 (concerning dispensing opticians); GS 90-270.7 (concerning Psychology Board members); GS 90-270.15 (concerning psychologists); GS 90-270.60 (concerning marriage and family therapists); GS 90-270.76 (concerning occupational therapists); GS 90-270.103 (concerning physical therapists); GS 90-340 (concerning professional counselors); GS 90-363 (concerning dietitians and nutritionists); GS 90-390 (concerning fee-based pastoral counselors); GS 90-631.3, GS 90-632.15, and GS 90-633 (concerning massage and bodywork therapy schools, establishments, and therapists); GS 90-659 (concerning respiratory care practitioners); GS 90A-64 (concerning environmental health specialists); GS 93A-6 (concerning real estate brokers); GS 93A-38 (concerning real estate schools); and GS 93E-2-8 (concerning real estate appraisal management companies).
Further amends GS 90-30, concerning dentists, to remove the Board of Dental Examiners' authority to deny a license to any person guilty of a crime involving gross immorality. Further amends GS 90-121.2, concerning optometrists, to remove the Board of Examiners in Optometry's authority to deny a license to a person who has engaged in immoral conduct as to discredit the optometry profession.
Effective October 1, 2019.
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