PA 07-157—HB 7167

Select Committee on Veterans' Affairs

General Law Committee

Public Health Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING PROFESSIONAL LICENSES OF MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES AND THE CONNECTICUT NATIONAL GUARD

SUMMARY: This act extends, from six months to one year after discharge, the grace period during which the Department of Public Health (DPH) must renew certain DPH credentials that become void while the holders are on active duty in the armed forces. It establishes the same grace period for Connecticut National Guard members whose credentials lapsed while they were performing military service ordered by the governor.

The act establishes a grace period during which non-DPH executive branch agencies, departments, boards (except the State Board of Education (SBE)), commissions, or officials must renew the professional credentials of all such members in the same circumstances above. The renewal is valid for one year after discharge from such duty or service or until the member successfully renews the license, whichever comes first.

The act also requires the SBE to renew expired SBE certificates, authorizations, and permits if the member applies within one year after discharge from active duty or ordered military service. The renewal must be valid for at least the length of time the member was on active duty or ordered military service, but it cannot be valid for longer than the period for which the original credential was valid.

As under existing law, the act does not apply to reservists or guard members on active duty for regularly scheduled annual training that is not part of mobilization.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

DPH LICENSE RENEWAL STANDARDS

By law, DPH must renew credentials (licenses, certificates, permits, and registrations) that lapse while their holders are serving on active duty in the armed forces. Under prior law, it had to renew any dentistry, medicine and surgery, or respiratory care license within one year after the member was discharged from active duty, and it had to renew credentials of almost all of the other health professionals within six months after the member's discharge. The act extends the grace period for renewing these latter credentials to one year after discharge. It also establishes the same one-year grace period for guard members whose credentials lapsed while they were performing military service ordered by the governor. But it does not establish this benefit for such guard members holding a license to practice dentistry or medicine and surgery.

By law, (1) DPH cannot renew the credential of anyone facing disciplinary action or an unresolved complaint, (2) members must complete any continuing education or refresher courses that other renewal applicants must complete, and (3) members must submit to the applicable entity or official any required application or other documentation.

HEALTH-RELATED PROFESSIONS AND PROFESSIONALS AFFECTED

The DPH professions and professionals affected by the act are as follows: emergency medical service; chiropractor; naturopathy; podiatrist; athletic trainer; physical therapist; occupational therapist; substance abuse counselor; radiographer and radiologic technologist; midwifery; nursing; dental hygienist; optometrist; optician; perfusionist; psychologist; marital and family therapist; clinical social worker; professional counselor; veterinarian; massage therapist; dietitian-nutritionist; acupuncturist; paramedic; barber; hairdresser and cosmetician; electrologist; subsurface sewage disposal system installer; sanitarian; hearing instrument specialist; speech and language pathologist and audiologist; asbestos contractor, consultant, and worker; and lead abatement consultant, contractor, and worker.

The act also includes embalmers and funeral directors and respiratory care licensees. But under CGS 20-228, embalmers and funeral directors whose license or registration lapsed while they were on duty in the armed forces may already apply to DPH for reinstatement within one year after discharge. DPH must reinstate the credential, without an examination, if it approves the applicant's professional qualifications. And DPH must renew the respiratory care license of an armed forces member that lapsed while the member was on active duty within one year after discharge.

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