Assembly passes package to speed up Wisconsin licensing delays

The Wisconsin Assembly passed a package of bills Wednesday designed to help improve the system of issuing professional licenses to everyone from tattoo artists to doctors and nurses that has been plagued with delays since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report from the Associated Press. 

One measure would double the length of time licenses would remain in effect from two years to four years, a change backed by Wisconsin hospitals, nurses, and other health care providers. Other bills that were passed would allow those seeking a business license, such as accountants, to work immediately in Wisconsin if they have a license in good standing from another state. 

Another proposal would require the licensing department to update the processing time on its website monthly and post information about whether other states’ credentials for health care professions would qualify a person to obtain a reciprocal health care credential in Wisconsin. Other measures would require the department to provide more processing data to the Legislature and another would streamline the required review of an applicant’s criminal history, with the goal of speeding up the process. 

Leaders at the state Department of Safety and Professional Services have said applications are being processed about twice as quickly now as they were in 2021, when wait times were as long as 80 days.