Senate Study Bill 1126 - Introduced SENATE FILE _____ BY (PROPOSED COMMITTEE ON LABOR AND BUSINESS RELATIONS BILL BY CHAIRPERSON SCHULTZ) A BILL FOR An Act relating to professional licensing by limiting the 1 authority of cities and counties to enact or enforce certain 2 professional or occupational licensing laws and relating to 3 qualifications for holding professional licenses. 4 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA: 5 TLSB 2322XC (1) 88 ss/rn
S.F. _____ Section 1. Section 272C.1, Code 2019, is amended by adding 1 the following new subsections: 2 NEW SUBSECTION . 5A. “Licensing authority” means a licensing 3 board or another body established to issue licenses to a 4 person practicing a profession or occupation by a political 5 subdivision. 6 NEW SUBSECTION . 10. “Political subdivision” means a city 7 or county in this state. 8 NEW SUBSECTION . 11. “Professional or occupational fee” 9 means a fee imposed on a person as a condition of practicing a 10 profession or occupation. 11 Sec. 2. NEW SECTION . 272C.12 Licensing requirements of 12 political subdivisions limited. 13 A political subdivision shall not impose an occupational fee 14 or licensing requirement on a profession or occupation that 15 is not subject to such a fee or licensing requirement of the 16 political subdivision as of January 1, 2020, but the political 17 subdivision may continue to impose professional or occupational 18 fees or licensing requirements in place prior to January 1, 19 2020. 20 Sec. 3. NEW SECTION . 272C.13 Disqualifications for criminal 21 convictions limited. 22 1. A licensing authority that may deny a professional or 23 occupational license on the basis of an applicant’s criminal 24 record shall list the specific criminal offenses that would 25 disqualify an applicant from receiving a license. Any 26 such offenses shall be directly related to the duties and 27 responsibilities of the profession or occupation. 28 2. A licensing authority shall not deny an application for a 29 license on the basis of an arrest not followed by a conviction 30 or based on a finding that an applicant lacks good character, 31 suffers from moral turpitude, or on other similar basis. 32 3. A valid disqualification as described in subsection 1 33 shall not persist past five years after the date of conviction, 34 provided that the crime is not violent or sexual in nature 35 -1- LSB 2322XC (1) 88 ss/rn 1/ 4
S.F. _____ and the applicant has not been convicted of another crime 1 within the period of disqualification. Such a person may be 2 disqualified for no more than five years following the person’s 3 release from incarceration. 4 4. A licensing authority shall consider clear and 5 convincing evidence of all of the following factors in 6 determining whether an applicant’s disqualifying criminal 7 record is directly related to the duties and responsibilities 8 of the profession or occupation: 9 a. The nature and seriousness of the crime for which the 10 individual was convicted. 11 b. The amount of time that has passed since the commission 12 of the crime. 13 c. The relationship of the crime to the ability, capacity, 14 and fitness required to perform the duties and discharge the 15 responsibilities of the profession or occupation. 16 d. Any evidence of rehabilitation or treatment undertaken 17 by the individual that might mitigate against a finding that a 18 disqualifying criminal record directly relates to the duties 19 and responsibilities of the profession or occupation. 20 5. An individual may petition a licensing authority, in a 21 form prescribed by the licensing authority, for a determination 22 as to whether the individual’s criminal record will prevent the 23 individual from receiving a license. The licensing authority 24 shall issue such determinations within thirty days of receipt. 25 The licensing authority may charge a fee to recoup the costs of 26 such a determination, provided that such a fee shall not exceed 27 twenty-five dollars. 28 6. a. A licensing authority that denies an individual a 29 license solely or partly because of the individual’s prior 30 conviction of a crime shall notify the individual in writing 31 of all of the following: 32 (1) The grounds for the denial or disqualification. 33 (2) That the individual has the right to a hearing to 34 challenge the licensing authority’s decision. 35 -2- LSB 2322XC (1) 88 ss/rn 2/ 4
S.F. _____ (3) The earliest date the person may submit a new 1 application. 2 (4) That evidence of rehabilitation may be considered upon 3 reapplication. 4 b. A determination by a licensing authority that an 5 applicant’s criminal conviction is specifically listed as a 6 disqualifying conviction and is directly related to the duties 7 and responsibilities of the profession or occupation must be 8 documented in written findings for each factor in paragraph “a” 9 sufficient for review by a court. 10 c. In any administrative or civil hearing authorized by 11 this section or chapter 17A, the licensing authority shall 12 carry the burden of proof on the question of whether the 13 applicant’s criminal conviction directly relates to the duties 14 and responsibilities of the profession or occupation for which 15 the license is sought. 16 7. Each licensing authority shall adopt rules for the 17 implementation of this section. 18 Sec. 4. IMPLEMENTATION OF ACT. Section 25B.2, subsection 19 3, shall not apply to this Act. 20 Sec. 5. EFFECTIVE DATE. This Act takes effect January 1, 21 2020. 22 Sec. 6. APPLICABILITY. This Act applies to all licensing 23 decisions made by a licensing authority on or after 120 days 24 from the effective date of this Act, except that a licensing 25 authority may implement the provisions of this Act prior to 26 that date. 27 EXPLANATION 28 The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with 29 the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly. 30 This bill sets limitations on the ability of cities and 31 counties, referred to as “political subdivisions”, to regulate 32 professions and occupations. The bill prohibits political 33 subdivisions from imposing any new licensing requirements or 34 professional or occupational fees beginning January 1, 2020. 35 -3- LSB 2322XC (1) 88 ss/rn 3/ 4
S.F. _____ Political subdivisions may continue to impose any existing 1 licensing requirements or fees. 2 The bill also limits the ability of licensing authorities 3 to refuse to grant a license on the basis of an applicant’s 4 criminal record by requiring licensing authorities to 5 specifically list the offenses that disqualify an applicant 6 and to specifically detail the grounds for disqualification of 7 each applicant. A licensing authority cannot disqualify an 8 applicant for an arrest not followed by a conviction or for a 9 conviction that occurred more than five years ago, provided 10 that the offense was not violent or sexual in nature, or based 11 on a finding that an applicant lacks good character or suffers 12 from moral turpitude. 13 A disqualified person who commits an additional offense 14 during the period of disqualification or who is disqualified 15 based on a violent or sexual crime may not be disqualified for 16 longer than five years following release from incarceration. 17 An applicant who is denied a license on the basis of a criminal 18 record is entitled to an administrative review and any review 19 in civil court permitted by Code chapter 17A. The licensing 20 authority bears the burden of proof in such proceedings. 21 The bill also requires licensing authorities to respond to 22 inquiries as to whether an individual’s criminal record would 23 disqualify the individual from obtaining a license. 24 The bill may include a state mandate as defined in Code 25 section 25B.3. The bill makes inapplicable Code section 25B.2, 26 subsection 3, which would relieve a political subdivision from 27 complying with a state mandate if funding for the cost of 28 the state mandate is not provided or specified. Therefore, 29 political subdivisions are required to comply with any state 30 mandate included in the bill. 31 The bill takes effect January 1, 2020. The bill applies 32 to all licensing decisions made on or after 120 days from the 33 effective date of the bill, except that a licensing authority 34 may implement the bill on an earlier date. 35 -4- LSB 2322XC (1) 88 ss/rn 4/ 4