Published Saturday, January 05, 2013

Secretary of State supports bill to streamline professional license renewals

From STAFF REPORTS

news@newnan.com

On Thursday, State Representative Dusty Hightower (R-Carrollton) filed legislation that will significantly reduce processing times for almost half a million Georgians who hold professional licenses.

The legislation is supported by Secretary of State Brian Kemp.

Currently, due to an unintended consequence of earlier legislation, anyone renewing a professional license is required to submit proof of citizenship before the license is granted. This took an automated process and made it manual. This has resulted in five times longer wait times for renewals and greatly increased the workload of the Professional Licensing Board Division during already strained budget conditions.

HB 32 will only require applicants to submit their Secure and Verifiable Documents (SVD) once within the same agency, rather than each time a license is renewed.

“I am thankful to have had the opportunity to work with Representative Hightower to draft this legislation,” said Kemp. “This bill will eliminate needless government red tape and help Georgians get to work faster.”

The Office of the Secretary of State worked with Georgia business leaders, including the National Federation of Independent Business, to draft this bill.

“This legislation is of paramount importance to small business and licensed professionals in Georgia,” said Georgia NFIB State Director Kyle Jackson. “We simply cannot afford to sideline job creators because of government regulation at a time when our state desperately needs new jobs. I appreciate Secretary Kemp’s leadership on this issue and look forward to working with the legislature to pass this legislation during the 2013 session.”

“Almost half a million Georgia professionals have had to jump through additional hoops to work here in Georgia. In these trying economic times, it is important that all of our elected leaders look for ways to cut red tape and get Georgia to work.

© 2011 The Newnan Times-Herald Inc., Newnan, Georgia. Any unauthorized use, copying or mirroring is prohibited.