DES MOINES, Iowa — Governor Kim Reynolds signed a comprehensive licensure bill on Thursday, calling it “major and meaningful step” in reforming how professionals can obtain licenses to work in Iowa.
Now, Iowa will recognize of out-of-state professional licenses. It will also clearly state disqualification provisions for criminal convictions, which the governor said is a step forward in her criminal justice reform priority.
“It also puts in place a universal standard for considering criminal convictions and licensure, ensuring that an offense must be directly related to the practice of the profession if it’s going to be used as a reason to deny a license,” the Republican governor said. “This will again enable more ex-offenders to enter the workforce.”
Mathieu Lemay, an electrician from Kanawha, isn’t originally from Iowa but had difficulty getting a license when he moved here — even though he had been a licensed electrician for 32 years.
“When I was declined twice in Iowa, it caused me to have some questions,” he said. “The encouraging things I’ve seen in this bill are going to do a tremendous amount for tradespeople throughout the state and inviting credentialed professionals from other states to help meet the demand that is growing here in Iowa.”
Reynolds said in a state where a quarter of the workforce needs a license for their job, it’s critical to have a professional licensing system that will incentivize skilled workers to work in Iowa.
To read all of the provisions of what the bill will do, click here.