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Lombardo executive orders take aim at regulations

RENO — Nevada could see fewer licensing requirements by occupational and professional boards under Gov. Joe Lombardo’s newest executive order.

The order, one of two signed Thursday, directs all occupational and professional licensing boards to stop creating any new regulations that “limit or otherwise impact the ability persons to enter any occupation or profession in Nevada” in an attempt to address the state’s workforce shortage by expediting the licensure process.

State licensing boards have been criticized in Nevada in the past for setting up barriers to employment.

The order requires the state’s licensing boards to provide a detailed report outlining regulations, fees and other requirements that “restrict entry into any occupation or profession” to the governor’s office and the Legislative Counsel Bureau by April 1. The report must also include the board’s justification for regulations, recommendations that would speed up the licensure process and a list of other states that grant reciprocity to professionals who are also licensed in Nevada.

The report serves as a roadmap for the order’s additional sections. According to the order, if an occupation or profession isn’t subject to licensure in more than 26 states, Nevada’s licensure requirements will be “deemed unnecessary” and the board will be required to phase out requirements by July 1. Additionally, if an occupation licensed in Nevada participates in licensing reciprocity in more than 26 other states, “the board shall provide a recommendation for implementing a program for reciprocity participation by July 1.”

Boards that don’t comply with the order will face “an immediate operational and financial audit” by the Division of Internal Audits and could be subject to sanctions by the Legislature.

Thursday’s second executive order directs all departments, agencies, boards and commissions to halt the creation of new regulations and requires each to provide a report detailing how its operations can be “streamlined, clarified, reduced or otherwise improved to ensure those regulations provide for the general welfare of the state without unnecessarily inhibiting economic growth.”

The agencies, boards and commissions are also required to hold a public hearing to gather recommendations and input from “key stakeholders,” the findings of which are to be part of the report. The report must be sent to the governor’s office by May 1.

No new regulations can be approved until the order is rescinded, apart from a handful of rules. The regulations exempt from suspension include those related to public health and public safety, those necessary to secure federal funds, those required for the subdivision’s operations, regulations related to pending judicial deadlines and those necessary to comply with federal statutes.

The newest round of executive orders comes less than a week after Lombardo issued orders related to ending COVID directives and directing the Department of Administration to make recommendations concerned with state employment.

Contact Taylor R. Avery at TAvery@reviewjournal.com. Follow @travery98 on Twitter.

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