OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5586

AN ACT WAIVING CERTAIN INITIAL OCCUPATIONAL LICENSING FEES FOR CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS AND REQUIRING A STUDY OF OCCUPATIONAL LICENSING FEES CHARGED BY SURROUNDING STATES.

SUMMARY

This bill exempts eligible (1) low-income individuals; (2) veterans, armed forces members, and their spouses; and (3) young workers (ages 18 through 24) from initial occupational licensing fees for credentials as barbers, hairdressers, interior designers, and pharmacy technicians.

The bill also requires the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) commissioner to (1) conduct a study comparing the occupational licensing fees charged by Connecticut and surrounding states for comparable licenses and (2) by January 1, 2019, report his findings to the Commerce and Finance, Revenue and Bonding committees. In conducting the study, the DECD commissioner must consult with the public health and consumer protection commissioners, and any other applicable state agency, and include recommendations for specific fee changes that would enhance the state's economic competitiveness.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2018, except the study provision is effective upon passage.

LICENSE AND REGISTRATION FEE WAIVERS

The bill requires the Department of Public Health (DPH) and Department of Consumer Protection (DCP), as applicable, to waive the fees required for the initial licenses or registrations listed in Table 1 and issued for certain qualifying applicants on or after July 1, 2018. It requires the applicants to provide the respective department with any documentation or information the department requires for the waiver.

Under the bill, an individual qualifies for a waiver if he or she is:

1. enrolled in a state or public assistance program or has a household gross income of less than 130% of federal poverty guidelines (for 2018, 130% of the federal poverty level is $15,782 for an individual and $21,398 for a family of two);

2. a veteran or armed forces member or his or her spouse or surviving spouse who has not remarried; or

3. between 18 and 24 years old.

Under the bill, a veteran is anyone honorably discharged or released from active service in the U.S. Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Air Force and any reserve component of these branches, including the Connecticut National Guard performing duty under Title 32 of federal law (e.g., certain Homeland Security missions)).

Table 1: License and Registration Fee Waivers

Credential

Current Fee for Initial License

Agency

Barber License

$100

DPH

Hairdresser and Cosmetician License

$100

DPH

Interior Designer Registration

$190

DCP

Pharmacy Technician Registration

$100

DCP

COMMITTEE ACTION

Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

51

Nay

0

(04/05/2018)