SF 567-Professional licensing and criminal convictions
As passed by the Senate (48-0 on 3/18): SF 567 relates to professional licensing and the ability for licensing boards to deny, revoke or suspend a license because of a felony conviction. The Electrical Examining Board and the Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board will adopt rules to identify which felonies are violent or sexual in nature. Those convictions will be grounds for denial, revocation or suspension of a license. The bill does allow the boards to grant an exception for a person who would otherwise be denied a license because of a conviction of the felony provided that there is an extenuating circumstance that justifies the exemption. The bill also strikes current Code sections allowing the boards to revoke, deny or suspend a license on convictions of any felonies. The bill forbids the Iowa Department of Corrections to enroll an inmate in an apprenticeship program if the inmate is unable to obtain a necessary license to practice due to a felony conviction that is violent or sexual in nature. Prior to enrolling an inmate in an apprenticeship program, the Department of Corrections must receive written confirmation from the appropriate licensing board that the inmate could receive the necessary license to practice the profession if it appears that inmate may be disqualified from receiving such a license.
The bill passed the Iowa House by a vote of 98-0; the House adopted an amendment that provides specific guidance to the Electrical Examining Board and the Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board when the boards consider exceptions for a person who would otherwise be denied a license due to a criminal conviction. The boards must consider the nature and seriousness of the offense, mitigating circumstances surrounding the commission of the offense, the age of the person at that time, letters of reference and other relevant evidence of rehabilitation. Also, the language provides a list of specific crimes that will be grounds for denial, revocation or suspension of the license.
These specific crimes below must be grounds for denial, revocation or suspension of a license:
- Conviction of a crime in Iowa that is sexual abuse in violation of 4
- Sexually violent offense as defined in section 2
- Dependent adult abuse in violation of section 20
- Forcible felony as defined in section 702.11
- Domestic abuse assault in violation of section 2A
A conviction of a crime in violation of federal law or in violation of the law of another state will be given the same effect as it would if such conviction had been under Iowa law. Conviction for any other felony will not be grounds for denial, revocation or suspension. A person holding a license prior to July 1, 2019, does not need to obtain an exception to maintain a license.
The amendment alters license requirements for barbering by allowing an individual who completes a barbering apprenticeship training program (registered by the Department of Labor) at the Department of Corrections can take the examination for a license to practice barbering.
The Senate adopted an amendment to the House amendment that strikes “crime” and inserts “felony” for the specific crimes listed in the House amendment. Only felonies will be grounds for denial (or revocation or suspension) of a license, not misdemeanors.