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Bill would abolish boards, overhaul professional licensing in Ohio

Ohio lawmakers today proposed a massive overhaul of professional licensing in Ohio with legislation to abolish 11 licensing boards and consolidate them under three new boards and two existing ones.

The changes aim to streamline professional licensing in the state and address concerns that many of the state’s professional licensing boards are open to legal challenges in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year.

The I-Team first reported last year that most Ohio licensing boards are dominated by members of the industries they regulate, opening them up to challenges under state and federal anti-trust laws because of perceptions they serve to limit competition instead of serve the public.

Ohio Sen. Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati, today submitted a bill that would:

  • Create the State Vision and Hearing Professionals Board, to replace the State Board of Optometry; Ohio Optical Dispensers Board; Hearing Aid Dealers and Fitters Licensing Board; and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.
  • Create the State Behavioral Health Professionals Board, to replace the Chemical Dependency Professionals Board; Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board; and State Board of Psychology.
  • Create the State Physical Health Services Board, to replace the Ohio Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Athletic Trainers Board; and State Board of Orthotics, Prosthetics, and Pedorthics.
  • Abolish the Ohio Board of Dietetics, transferring its responsibilities to the State Medical Board.
  • Abolish the Ohio Respiratory Care Board and transfer its duties to the State Board of Pharmacy and the State Medical Board.

The bil would also require the Ohio Department of Administrative Services to review agency actions to make sure they are in line with antitrust laws.

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