In his effort that has been ongoing for three years, Senator Fred Mills’ measure was signed into law as Act 515, requiring boards such as the state psychology board to make several changes, including adding a consumer member.
Act 515 transfers the healthcare professional licensing agencies, boards, commissions, and like entities to the La. Department of Health (LDH) and deletes repealed and obsolete citations and references.
The new law adds at least one consumer member to each healthcare professional licensing board that did not previously have one and provides standardized eligibility criteria for such
The new law also requires the governor to ensure that his appointments to healthcare professional licensing boards demonstrate diversity with respect to race, gender, ethnicity, and geography.
New law also authorizes all licensing boards and commissions created and provided for in prior law to develop a process to issue a license, permit, or certificate outside the national
examination for those individuals with a disorder which is recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
An effort to take professional associations out of the direct loop for board nominations was amended out of Senator Mills’ measure.
Some of the intent by Senator Mills’ efforts found its way to Act 623, the Occupational Board Compliance Act, authored by Representative Connick. The goal is to help boards use the least
restrictive regulation necessary, in regard to market competition and other factors, in their efforts to protect consumers from present, significant, and substantiated harms that threaten public health and safety.
Act 623 creates the Occupational Licensing Review Commission, comprised of the governor, secretary of state, commissioner of agriculture, commissioner of insurance, and the state treasurer, or
their respective designees, who are responsible for active supervision of state executive branch occupational licensing boards.
In a related measure, Act 655 allows that a person who has a disciplinary action brought against him or her by the La. State Bd. of Dentistry or the La. Auctioneers Licensing Bd. to elect to have the matter moved to the division of administrative law for a disciplinary adjudication by an administrative law judge. The measure also directs boards to develop process for different exams for those with disabilities, and submit quarterly reports to the legislative oversight committee about complaints regarding board actions.