Order Aims To Reduce Wait Times For Professional Licensing

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Gov. Josh Shapiro has signed an executive order aimed at reducing long wait times for professional applicants seeking to enter their fields in Pennsylvania.

Under the order signed Tuesday, state agencies will be held to firm timelines to review license applications or repay applicants for the costs of fees. The measure is aimed at getting frontline workers like teachers and nurses into the field faster and lowering barriers for small business owners such as barbers and cosmetologists.

“Pennsylvania, like many other states, is facing a critical labor shortage among frontline workers, from nurses to teachers,” the Democratic governor said during a news conference. “At a time when we need every qualified nurse and hospital worker on the job, we cannot have nurses kept off the job because of paperwork delays.”

Agencies throughout the state will have 90 days to review all licenses, certificates and permits and submit recommendations for timelines to the governor’s office. Once reviewed, the governor’s office plans to develop processing times. If an agency misses its deadline, the applicant is reimbursed for the fees, Shapiro said.

Shapiro said that timelines and terms of reimbursement will be published and available to the public following the review process.