Louisiana lawmakers yesterday amended House Bill 748 to allow the use of professional certification credentials in the state, and the amended bill was then passed by the Louisiana Senate Commerce Committee.

The bill, titled “The Occupational Licensing Review Act,” was intended 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, Louisiana State 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 (LSAE), contacted Louisiana lawmakers about the bill and registered concerns with the bill language.

As a result, the bill was significantly amended prior to consideration in the Senate Commerce Committee this week. 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” has been removed from the bill entirely.

The concerns raised by ASAE and numerous other associations have been addressed but the amended bill still requires full Senate passage and will require a vote for concurrence on the House floor or be sent into conference.