2015-08-04 / Front Page

Jobs Committee Supports No State Licenses For 11 Careers

by Michael Stanley
Staff Writer


Scott Haraburda Scott Haraburda The President of Indiana’s Society of Professional Engineers is speaking out against a recommendation to deregulate licenses for 11 different jobs in the Hoosier State.

Spencer resident U.S. Army Colonel (ret.) Dr. Scott S. Haraburda has been quoted in recent media coverage from New York to California following preliminary findings by the Indiana Jobs Creation Committee.

Page 52 of the report submitted on June 17, 2015 notes, “The Job Creation Committee recommends that the State of Indiana no longer require the licensing of engineers and eliminate the State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers.” Although not changing their recommendations, the final report was revised to state that, “The Jobs Creation Committee voted to recommend changes to the regulatory structure of the State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and the licenses it issues.”

The committee, which oversees 38 boards, commissions and committees, also regulates more than 70 professional licenses. Nearly one in seven Indiana workers are licensed by the agency, 470,000 actively licensed professionals in all.

In recent years, the Indiana General Assembly, has sought ways to deregulate many of the occupations overseen by the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency.

The JCC has been tasked with assessing an array of issues related to the state’s regulated occupations over the next several years, providing recommendations to lawmakers and Governor Mike Pence. Those recommendations will include whether some professional licenses should be eliminated or combined into a single license.

IPLA director and JCC Chairman Nicholas Rhoad has said the panel’s work will be vital to the state’s 115,000-plus small businesses, which account for almost half of Indiana’s jobs.

“We need to make sure we strike the proper balance between public safety and burdensome regulatory practices so that Indiana’s economy can flourish and citizens can prosper,” he said.

The list of occupations considered in the report includes: engineers, home inspectors, auctioneers, hearing aid dealers, surveyors, manufactured home installers, private investigators and security guards, funeral and cemetery services, plumbers and accountants.

Haraburda is concerned about the lack of licensing for engineers, especially.

“The professional engineer’s foremost duty is to protect the public health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Indiana. The JCC recommendation would therefore pose a grave threat to public safety,” Haraburda said. “he proposed elimination of engineering licensure in the State of Indiana will also effectively destroy Indiana’s link to a national system of engineering licensure which exists in all US states and territories, and will place at grave risk the ability of Indiana licensed PEs who are also licensed in other US jurisdictions to practice engineering beyond the borders of Indiana.”

He explained that 100 years ago, anyone could work as an engineer without proof of competency in the field.

“Now every state regulates the practice of engineering to ensure public safety by granting only PEs the authority to sign and seal engineering plans and offer their services to the public. If the JCC recommendations are implemented, Indiana will be the only state that fails to license and regulate its engineers, a dangerous risk that Hoosiers cannot afford to take. To become licensed, engineers must complete a four-year college degree, work under a Professional Engineer for at least four years, pass two intensive competency exams and earn a license from their state’s licensure board.”

Haraburda testified about the importance of professional engineering on January 15, 2015 to the JCC in Indianapolis. He will also be in attendance for the committee’s next meeting in Indianapolis on August 20, to refute recommendations in person and address any questions or concerns posed.

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