Committee work a licence for change

(Anderson) Herald Bulletin

Critical questions about jobs are being raised in the state government center in Indianapolis that could affect the jobs of nearly 470,000 Hoosiers.

That’s how many residents need to have state licenses to perform their work. That includes doctors, plumbers, real estate agents and beauticians among dozens of professions who offer legal guidance, home renovations or medical care among other services.

Currently, those licenses are regulated through the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency (IPLA), an umbrella group for about 38 boards, commissions and committees responsible for guaranteeing that the professionals performing their tasks in line with state law.

For the past few months, the Jobs Creation Committee has been raising important questions about the jobs, not so much whether they should be licensed professions but who licenses and regulates those jobs. The eight-member committee, which meets in monthly open sessions, was set up by the Indiana General Assembly in 2014 to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of the licenses regulated by the IPLA.

Of late, there have been discussions centering on:

•When a Hoosier shopping at a mall is stopped by a uniformed person representing a law enforcement agency, how does the shopper know the officer is a policeman or a security guard? Or whether that person has been trained in carrying a firearm? One answer may be to require security guards to wear different colored uniforms.

•What happens when a licensed auctioneer fails to pay all the money due to a person whose property was just sold off?

•Someone pays in advance for a burial, but the money disappears. Who regulates that crime? Most likely it would go to Indiana Attorney General’s office but the State Board of Funeral and Cemetery Service helps administer a victim compensation fund that can provide up to $20,000 for individuals.

There have been numerous discussions about handing over the responsibility for regulation and issuance of licenses to state associations representing each profession.

For one, the Indiana Auctioneers Association would prefer to work with the current setup of the IPLA and be responsible mostly for continuing education efforts.

Every profession seems to have a different recommendation for the committee. That’s expected in such a massive undertaking.

The committee is to issue reports on each regulated occupation and board.

The work is bound to affect every Hoosier, whether they have a professional license or whether they hire someone to inspect their home, serve as their home nurse or pick up a prescription at a pharmacy.

Underlying all this is an important concept — reducing the administrative functions of government and shifting them to responsible associations.

The committee’s work is clearly important to all Hoosiers.

To check on an individual or company has a license, go to n.gov/pla.

Go to the same website to keep up with the committee’s progress.

Distributed by the Hoosier State Press Association. Send comments to dr-editorial@greenfieldreporter.com

This was distributed by Hoosier State Press Association. Send comments to awoods@tribtown.com.