Lawmakers can't agree on starting point for out-of-state professional licensure legislation

Oct 6, 2021

This summer, lawmakers heard from frustrated health care providers who testified that transferring credentials into Indiana is cumbersome and slow.
Credit Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Lawmakers are discussing ways to make it easier for those with out-of-state professional licenses to transfer credentials into Indiana. A summer study committee produced a report Tuesday, but didn’t get enough votes to pass a draft of future legislation.

This summer, lawmakers heard from frustrated health care providers who testified that transferring credentials into Indiana is cumbersome and slow.

In response, the committee approved recommendations that the state start reciprocity agreements or compacts with other states for professional licenses. It also urges lawmakers to appropriate almost $700,000 to the state’s Professional Licensing Agency to upgrade technology.

But when it came to turning some of those ideas into a draft of legislation, lawmakers couldn’t agree.

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Rep. Terri Austin (D-Anderson) raised concerns that the drafted legislation discussed this week would make it harder for social workers, in particular, to come to Indiana from other states.

“There seems to be some concern that we’re actually stepping up the bar that they have to get over now, so I just want us to go through this very carefully,” she said. 

To pass a preliminary draft of a bill, the study committee needed eight votes. It only received seven.

Contact reporter Justin at jhicks@wvpe.org or follow him on Twitter at @Hicks_JustinM.