The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance announced this week that its Division of Regulatory Boards licensed more than 129,000 professionals in fiscal year 2019 while decreasing the average processing time required for the approval of new applications for those seeking professional licensure.
This, according to a press release department officials released this week.
Additionally, the Division processed 3,700 consumer complaints, completed 18,974 inspections, and assessed $997,851 in civil penalties. Approximately $51,000 in initial licensure fees were waived for applicants receiving government assistance. As part of the Division’s continual improvements, the processing time for initial applications decreased by 7 percent in fiscal year 2019 for initial applications. Additionally, the Division received 23,151 initial applications from individuals seeking a license.
The Division of Regulatory Boards licenses and regulates over 380,000 Tennesseans in their professions and businesses through 26 regulatory programs, which includes the Real Estate Commission, the Board of Funeral Directors & Embalmers, the Motor Vehicle Commission, the Board for Licensing Contractors, and the Cosmetology & Barber Examiners Board, among others. These entities ensure that people meet minimum professional standards, responsively and timely handle complaints, and provide consumer education on regulated professions and industries.
Beacon Center of Tennessee President Justin Owen responded to the press release in an email to The Tennessee Star.
“We applaud the department for doing its part to make it easier for Tennesseans to earn a living by slashing red tape,” Owen said.
“We hope to make its job even easier by reducing the number of jobs that require a license in the first place, allowing the department to focus its energy on overseeing those whose jobs necessitate a license in order to protect public health and safety.”
As reported, Beacon is a free market think tank that has found fault with some of the state’s licensing standards.
As The Star reported last year, Beacon filed suit against a law that state legislators passed last year that forces online auctioneers to get a state license.
According to Beacon’s website, the organization had filed a lawsuit against a Tennessee law requiring a license to shampoo hair.
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