On May 17, the Louisiana House approved, 95-0, the Senate-amended version of the “Occupational Licensing Review Act,” which removed credentialing language that had been included in the original House bill. The measure was sent to Gov. John Bel Edwards this week for signature.

Louisiana’s House Bill 748 was drafted to increase employment opportunities by loosening licensing requirements for certain jobs, but the bill text was initially worded to restrict individuals holding a voluntary certification from using the term “certified” in their title.

ASAE was part of a coalition of professional certification organizations that raised concerns with the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Julie Emerson (R), and other state lawmakers, who agreed to remove the certification provision. Many ASAE members, as well as members of the Louisiana Society of Association Executives, contacted lawmakers about the bill and registered concerns with its language.

As a result, the measure was significantly amended before the Senate Commerce Committee considered it two weeks ago. The bill now provides for the governor’s office to review 20 percent of the agencies engaged in regulatory and licensing activities within five years. The term “certification” was removed from the bill entirely.

Though this issue is seemingly resolved in Louisiana (pending the governor’s signature), ASAE is now tracking a similar bill in Missouri that would potentially have a chilling effect on association professional certifications in the state if enacted. Missouri House Bill 2312, the “Occupational Regulation Defense Act,” bars individuals who validly hold private credentials from using their titles of “certified” or “registered” unless the state has granted recognition of those titles to the individual.

Before the Missouri Legislature ended session last week, this bill was referred to the House Professional Registration and Licensing Committee. ASAE is working closely on this issue with the Missouri Society of Association Executives and the St. Louis Society of Association Executives.