Posted on January 26, 2015 in Government Operations
Licensure, a policy mechanism designed to ensure minimum competency among practitioners in markets with high risk of harm, affords protection to the public by granting licensees exclusive rights of practice. In effect, no person without a license may legally provide those regulated goods or services. This definition offers an important distinction from certification and registration, which do not offer exclusive rights of practice. Typically, licensure guarantees certain practitioner training regarding public health, safety or sanitation, so consumers, for example, do not receive the wrong medication at a pharmacy or spread disease at a spa. It is a means of indirectly providing information to consumers about the quality of a service. Licensure, however, also has the effect of driving up service costs and practitioner wages by restricting market entry. Consequently, training or language and residency requirements for licensure may restrict qualified practitioners from offering services in a state, dampening job creation opportunities and economic growth.
Boards and commissions were examined in 10 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Tennessee. States varied in organizational structure and consolidation of boards, as well as the number and distinction of occupations in each board’s jurisdiction and the complexity of fee schedules. For example, some states, like Tennessee and Nebraska, house occupational boards and commissions within administrative or executive departments, such as the departments of health or labor. Others, such as Georgia, have separate boards for cosmetologists and barbers. Most states did not report the number of licensees under each board, and no states reported the number of licenses by occupation. Table 1 depicts the name of each analogous board or commission, if it exists. Table 2 demonstrates the range of application or initial fees and renewal fees. These ranges capture the different occupations regulated by the boards. It does not capture, however, additional fees levied on firms, inspections or examinations that many boards impose.
Posted on January 26, 2015 in Transportation
While not commonly considered a category governed as transportation, several states in the Southern region have passed laws governing the use of golf carts as transportation on public roads. These regulations vary widely in terms of how, where and when golf carts may be used legally. In some places, such as Peachtree City, Georgia, and The Villages in Florida, local governments have invested in transportation infrastructure designed for the use of golf carts, creating a network of trails complete with bridges, tunnels and signage. In other places, it is illegal to drive a golf cart on a street or sidewalk any farther than a half mile from a golf course or approved event.
Information relating to the legal street and trail use of golf carts, as well as low speed vehicles (LSV) or personal transportation vehicles (PTV), in six states in the region is presented in the accompanying table. These vehicles all have different designations, and are regulated separately by both federal and state governments; however, these regulations serve very similar purposes and, in many jurisdictions, a modified golf cart may meet the legal definition of low speed or personal transportation vehicle. The table shows the relevant state codes for legal use of these vehicles, including who may drive them, where they may be driven, whether they may be driven at night, and any required safety features. In addition, because many states allow municipal or county governments to regulate use of golf carts, the table includes example local ordinances for each state where applicable.
In addition to state and local laws on safety equipment, some golf carts must meet federal safety standards. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regulates golf carts with top speeds between 20 and 25 miles per hour as LSVs (49 CFR Part 571). Golf carts with top speeds of less than 20 mph are not required to meet federal safety standards. Dealers that modify or customize golf carts to exceed top speeds between 20 and 25 mph, however, must comply with the LSV safety standards. These standards require headlights, front and rear turn signals, taillights, stop lamps, reflex reflectors, rearview mirrors, parking brake, windshield, vehicle identification number and seat belts.