Sainato: General Assembly passes bill to smooth professional licensing path for military members

HARRISBURG, June 30 – The General Assembly has passed legislation to make the professional licensing process more accommodating for service members, according to state Rep. Chris Sainato, one of the bill’s prime sponsors.

Sainato, who is Democratic chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, said he and colleagues introduced H.B. 1868 to give military applicants a smoother path through the licensing process.

“Returning to civilian life poses a range of challenges for veterans, and many involve adapting to the civilian job market,” Sainato said. “Our bill would help make that transition easier for service members by ensuring that licensing boards consider an applicant’s military training and education and by making the process more convenient.”

Sainato said under some of the bill’s provisions:

  • Military applicants would have up to six months to complete continuing education requirements following deployment.
  • Service members and spouses who are deployed when a license is due for renewal would have the option to submit their application before deployment (and DoS will hold it until the renewal window opens).
  • There would be expedited application review for veterans and military spouses and initial licensure fee waivers for military spouses relocating to Pennsylvania.
  • Military experience would be considered when making qualification determinations.
  • Specific guidelines would be used to help translate military experience into civilian licensure requirements.
  • Licensure fees would be waived for military applicants.

The bill passed the state House unanimously last November and the state Senate passed the bill with amendments on June 28. The House agreed to those amendments, and the bill now heads to the governor’s desk for his signature.

In addition to Sainato, other prime sponsors include state Reps. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny; Zach Mako, R-Lehigh/Northampton; Karen Boback, R-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Wyoming, and Dave Hickernell, R-Lancaster/Dauphin.