RALEIGH — Military members who have earned an occupational license from another state shouldn’t have to wait around as North Carolina bureaucrats decide about granting a license here, some legislators say.
Senate Bill 8 would solve that problem.
The legislation, approved unanimously Wednesday by the Senate Judiciary Committee, would allow qualified military members moving from another state to practice a trade under a temporary, one-year license while working to meet application requirements for North Carolina licensure.
Provisions in the bill also ease licensure rules for military spouses who are licensed in another state and move to North Carolina.
Military members and their spouses, the bill says, must be practicing the profession in which they are applying for a license and prove they are up-to-date on continuing education or other certification requirements.
Boards such as the North Carolina Real Estate Commission say they’re worried the legislation will allow unqualified applicants to slip into the system.
That isn’t a concern, Sen. Andy Wells, R-Alexander, told the committee.
Licensing boards report directly to the legislature, he said, which allows agencies flexibility to enact and enforce their rules.
“[Licensing boards] have probably more leeway than any other agency in the state government,” Wells said, “and we have given them enough leeway to accomplish [this] without increasing risk to the public.”
Lawmakers just want to cut away some red tape for veterans and their families, he said.
“We’re allowing family members to come here, not be loaded up with fees and requirements, get to work … and go through a one-year process to get licensed.”
S.B. 8 will go to the Senate Finance Committee for further consideration.