HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania’s governor wants to stop mandating professional licenses for 13 types of jobs, calling current regulations a barrier to employment. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf is releasing a study Thursday of the state’s professional licensure rules and his proposals to improve them. More than a million state residents currently hold professional licenses. The governor wants to eliminate them for auctioneers, barbers, campground membership salespeople and natural hair braiders, among others.
Replacing licensing mandates with less onerous training or registration rules will require legislative action. Wolf says military spouses should have an easier way to transfer qualifications when moving from other states. He also is backing a repeal of an automatic 10-year ban on 13 types of licenses for those convicted of drug felonies, instead letting licensing boards consider the criminal record.
Here is the full text of the governor’s executive order:
Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf has signed an executive order to begin a review of the commonwealth’s professional licenses to benchmark Pennsylvania’s licensing requirements against national and regional averages. The review will ensure that professional licenses are free from unnecessary barriers to opportunity from excessive licensing requirements, fees and policies that unnecessarily block hardworking Pennsylvanians from the career of their choice, while also protecting against public harm.
“Requiring a license to work in certain jobs helps to keep all of us safe, but those requirements should be fair relative to other states in our region and across the country,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “Overly burdensome requirements and fees can block some workers – especially minorities or spouses in military families who move frequently – from starting a career and supporting their families.”
“With this executive order, I am tasking the Commissioner of the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs within the Pennsylvania Department of State. The commissioner will work with the various licensing boards and commissions to give them the tools they need to more efficiently regulate their industry.”
The commissioner will partner with the 29 boards and commissions in Pennsylvania to study each board’s licensing process, fees, training and continuing education requirements. The commissioners will prepare a report comparing Pennsylvania’s requirements with other states in our region and across the nation and include any reciprocity agreements with other states.
The Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs within the Pennsylvania Department of State provides administrative and legal support to professional and occupational licensing boards and commissions. Approximately 20 percent of Pennsylvania workers need a license to do their job. The share of workers with an occupational license has grown rapidly since the 1950s.
“We need to find the right balances in our licensing requirements so talented and skilled workers can do their jobs and support our economy as we continue to attract business to Pennsylvania and develop a strong workforce,” said Governor Wolf. “Looking for ways to modernize our licensing process for workers is an important part of that process.”
The boards and commissions included in the executive order are the State Board of Accountancy, the State Architects Licensure Board, the State Board of Auctioneer Examiners, the State Board of Barber Examiners, the State Board of Certified Real Estate Appraisers, the State Board of Chiropractic, the State Board of Cosmetology, the State Board of Crane Operators, the State Board of Dentistry, the State Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists, the State Board of Funeral Directors, the State Board of Landscape Architects, the State Board of Massage Therapy, the State Board of Medicine, the State Board of Nursing, the State Board of Nursing Home Administrators, the State Board of Occupational Therapy, the State Board of Optometry, the State Board of Osteopathic Medicine, the State Board of Pharmacy, the State Board of Physical Therapy, the State Board of Podiatry, the State Board of Psychology, the State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Professional Counselors, the State Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, the State Board of Vehicle Manufacturers, Dealers, and Salespersons, the Navigation Commission, and the Real Estate Commission.
The commissioner’s findings will be submitted to the governor within seven months from the effective date of the order.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A proposal to prohibit abortions in Pennsylvania when the sole reason is that the fetus has or may have Down syndrome is advancing in the Republican-controlled state Senate. The bill won passage in the Senate Judiciary Committee on a party line basis Wednesday. It passed the Republican-majority House in April by a comfortable margin, 139 to 56, but Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf opposes it.
Supporters say it would protect a vulnerable population. Opponents respond that it would violate the right of women to make their own decisions about abortion and caution against forcing parents to raise children with the genetic chromosomal disorder. Pennsylvania law allows abortions up to 24 weeks of pregnancy for any reason except to choose the gender.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The fight over trying to take politics out of drawing Pennsylvania’s legislative and congressional districts is shifting to the state House of Representatives, where majority Republicans may be mostly interested in overhauling how state appeals judges are elected. A measure to amend the state constitution passed the Republican-controlled state Senate, 35-14, a near party-line vote Wednesday. It heads to the House.
Under the bill, state appellate judges would be elected by district, rather than statewide. It also would create a commission of citizens approved by supermajorities of lawmakers to draw Pennsylvania’s congressional and legislative districts. Rep. Dan Moul says his fellow Republicans seem more interested in creating judicial districts than creating a redistricting commission. The move comes amid Republican backlash over Pennsylvania’s Democratic-majority Supreme Court overturning the state’s GOP-drawn map of congressional districts.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — George Washington’s personal Revolutionary War headquarters flag is going on display at Philadelphia’s Museum of the American Revolution, just in time for Flag Day. The faded and fragile blue silk flag marked Washington’s presence on the battlefield during the war. Its appearance at the museum is the flag’s first public display in Philadelphia since the war.
The museum is bringing the flag, known as the Commander-in-Chief’s Standard, out of its archives for public viewing on Thursday until Sunday. Each visitor will receive a miniature version of the flag to take home. It features 13 white stars on a blue background, representing the 13 colonies. Flag Day is celebrated on June 14, and commemorates a 1777 resolution by the Continental Congress calling for the creation of the United States flag.
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is back at it with the news media — declaring “Fake News” the nation’s “biggest enemy.” Trump tweeted shortly after returning from Singapore, where he met with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. In the tweet, Trump called out CNN and NBC for what he calls negative coverage of his summit. He claims the meeting was a huge triumph that has made the world less vulnerable to North Korea’s nuclear arsenal — but that the media were “fighting hard to downplay the deal.” Critics say said Trump’s deal with North Korea lacks specific restraints on North Korea and notes Trump offered to end joint military exercises with South Korea — with little in return.
CYBERSPACE (AP) — An Australian man has won a court battle over a Google search. The man has won the right to sue Google, claiming the online search engine defamed him. Back in 2004, the man was shot in the back at a restaurant in Melbourne. He says when people Google his name, the results indicate he had ties to the Melbourne criminal underworld. The matter now goes back to the Victoria Supreme Court for trial. For its part, Google says it can’t be held liable for results generated by a search.
NEW YORK (AP) — The deaths of designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain have caused media organizations to look at how they cover suicide and whether more could be done to prevent copycat killings, without neglecting the duty to report news. Several outlets have publicized the 1-800-273-8255 suicide prevention hotline — People and Entertainment Weekly magazines are using it on their covers — and operators say the hotline has received the largest volume of calls in its history following the celebrity deaths.
The Associated Press sent guidelines to its staff this week about how suicides should be reported, including new instructions on addressing suicide notes. The Poynter Institute, a journalism think tank, also publicized advice to news leaders. Some of the guidelines being discussed contradict the natural impulses of journalists. When some younger reporters at a major national news organization urged that the suicide hotline be publicized following last week’s deaths, an editor said that it wasn’t their job because “we’re not social workers,” said Kelly McBride, media ethicist for the Poynter Institute. She wouldn’t identify the outlet.
DETROIT (AP) — It seems the late King of Pop won’t get a street named after him in Motown, at least not at this point. The Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday that a ceremony planned for Friday for Michael Jackson Avenue has been cancelled. The newspaper says Jackson’s siblings originally were under the impression that the Jackson 5 would be honored with the street name as part of Detroit Music Weekend. But the city prohibits ceremonial street designations for groups or organizations.
Stephen Grady, Council President Brenda Jones’ chief of staff, says the council still plans “to do something for the Jackson 5.” Four of Jackson’s brothers — Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon — still are scheduled to perform during the festival. The Gary, Indiana, brothers signed in 1968 with Detroit’s Motown. Michael Jackson was 50 when he died in 2009 in Los Angeles from a prescription drug overdose.
TOKYO (AP) — A Japanese wife has told police the body she thought was of her missing husband belonged to a stranger after her spouse turned up alive a year later. Tokyo police acknowledged Wednesday that the body found in a river in eastern Tokyo in June 2017 was of another man reported missing at around the same time. Police apologized for the mix-up and said the remains would be returned to the right family. Police initially believed the body was of a man in his early 40s reported missing by his family three days earlier, and handed it over to them after positive identification by the wife and two relatives.
The body was then cremated by the family. The family earlier this month notified police that the man came home alive in May. Police refused to say where he was or what he was doing. The body, of another missing man in his late 30s, might have been misidentified because both men were about the same height and age, Tokyo’s metropolitan police said. Bodies that are deemed unrelated to crime are usually returned to the families only after their visual inspections and without additional tests. The metropolitan police said they regretted the mistake and promised to take preventive measures.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A raccoon that became an internet sensation by scaling a 25-story office tower in downtown St. Paul was safely trapped Wednesday and released back into the wild. The raccoon looked a bit bedraggled but healthy after it was caught before dawn atop the UBS Plaza. Technicians took the caged raccoon down a freight elevator to a truck, according to Wildlife Management Services, which provides animal control services for St. Paul.
“It’s definitely a healthy raccoon. It’s in good condition. It’s eating normally,” said Christina Valdivia, the company’s general manager, who accompanied the technicians to the rooftop. The raccoon’s adventures caused a stir on social media as it scaled the tower Tuesday, with many Twitter users voicing concern for its safety or joking about the drama as its seemingly death-defying climb was livestreamed by several broadcasters. Valdivia said her mother-in-law saw it on the news in Chile.
COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) — Two sisters. Two new babies around the same time — again. Piedmont Columbus Regional said in a statement that sisters Mara Meighan and Jennifer Solis went into labor on the same day last week and gave birth nearly at the same time at the hospital’s midtown campus in west Georgia. The hospital also says the sisters had their first children around the same time nine years ago.
Meighan gave birth to a girl named Ana Grace, while Solis had a boy named Marco. Ana Grace weighed in at 8 pounds, 3 ounces, and Marco was 7 pounds, 15 ounces. The hospital says both babies are healthy. Hospital officials didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment on whether the sisters or doctors did anything to influence when the babies arrived.
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
Sports, Scores & Skeds
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Carson Wentz is eager to return to the field and reclaim his starting spot for the Philadelphia Eagles but he doesn’t have to rush because Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles is still around. The two quarterbacks have a unique relationship that’s unlike other famous tandems in NFL history. Wentz focused on rehab during the offseason and also found time to pursue other interests like building a sports complex in Haiti and launching a 25-foot truck to provide free food to people.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Ian Desmond hit a two-run homer in a five-run fourth inning, Tyler Anderson pitched seven strong innings and the Colorado Rockies routed the Philadelphia Phillies 7-2 to end a five-game losing streak. Trevor Story added three hits and drove in two for the Rockies. Colorado had dropped nine of 11 while falling from first place to fourth in the NL West. The Phillies play on 1070AM WKOK, while our normal programming continues at WKOK.com. Today the Phillies play at 12:30pm. The Steve Jones Show won’t be on WKOK, while an encore Dan Patrick show is streamed on WKOK.com.
PHOENIX (AP) — Jordy Mercer homered and had three RBIs, Jameson Taillon pitched seven effective innings and the Pittsburgh Pirates avoided a sweep with a 5-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Pirates blew a five-run lead in the opener and were knocked for 13 runs in the second game. Pittsburgh ended Arizona’s sweep bid with a four-run second inning against Zack Greinke and a sterling performance by Taillon
Here are the scores from yesterday’s sports events:
Final Washington 5 N-Y Yankees 4
Final Cincinnati 7 Kansas City 0
Final L-A Dodgers 3 Texas 2, 11 Innings
Final Tampa Bay 1 Toronto 0
Final Boston 5 Baltimore 1
Final Seattle 8 L-A Angels 6
Final Detroit 5 Minnesota 2
Final Chi White Sox 3 Cleveland 2
Final Houston 13 Oakland 5
Final Atlanta 2 N-Y Mets 0
Final Milwaukee 1 Chi Cubs 0
Final Pittsburgh 5 Arizona 4
Final Colorado 7 Philadelphia 2
Final Miami 5 San Francisco 4
Final San Diego 4 St. Louis 2
NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
WOMEN’S NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Final Las Vegas 78 N-Y Liberty 63
Final Washington 95 Connecticut 91
TODAY’S SPORTS SCHEDULE
Minnesota at Detroit 1:10 p.m.
Cleveland at Chi White Sox 2:10 p.m.
Houston at Oakland 3:35 p.m.
Tampa Bay at N-Y Yankees 7:05 p.m.
Boston at Seattle 10:10 p.m.
San Francisco at Miami 12:10 p.m.
Colorado at Philadelphia 1:05 p.m.
San Diego at Atlanta 7:35 p.m.
N-Y Mets at Arizona 9:40 p.m.
NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS
WOMEN’S NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Indiana at Atlanta 11:30 a.m.
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved