Outgoing Ohio Governor John Kasich last Friday signed into law Senate Bill 255, which establishes a statewide policy on occupational regulations but was amended to address some concerns from the association community.

ASAE commends the Professional Certification Commission (PCC) and some Ohio-based associations – in particular, the Ohio Society of Association Executives and the Ohio Society of CPAs – for working closely with state legislators in Columbus to change some of the bill language.

ASAE and others had been concerned with a provision in the bill that would have allowed the state to offer a government-run certification program in certain circumstances. The PCC and others were able to negotiate new language in the final legislation that doesn’t set the state up as a competitor to voluntary certification programs already in existence.

Coalition members also persuaded lawmakers to add a new provision in the legislation to permit licensure boards to require private certifications as a condition of licensure. The law also includes a safe harbor provision for regulatory recognition of private certification programs, removing pressure to abolish licensure laws.

ASAE regards the outcome in Ohio as positive and continues to work with the PCC to address legislation in a dozen other states that have introduced legislation that challenges voluntary professional credentialing granted by associations and other groups.