Veterinary Board Acts on Governor Wolf’s Job Licensing Reform

July 16, 2018

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf announced today the State Board of Veterinary Medicine waived its enforcement of a 10-year automatic ban on certification for vet tech applicants with a past felony drug conviction, following his recommendation that licensing boards remove barriers to employment.

“I applaud the State Board of Veterinary Medicine for acting on my suggestion to end this automatic barrier to a good job,” said Governor Wolf. “This commonsense step provides a second chance to hardworking people, will reduce crime and recidivism rates, and will help to modernize our job certification requirements. I urge more licensing boards to follow suit so we can make sure we are not creating unnecessary barriers for qualified workers.”

The board will still review each applicant’s criminal background and make a determination on an individual basis, but a past drug felony conviction will no longer be an automatic impediment to getting a vet tech certification.

Governor Wolf recently proposed a package of job licensing reforms to remove employment barriers and strengthen the state’s workforce. The reforms would eliminate 13 job licenses, including those for barbers, auctioneers and cemetery brokers; streamline the process by which relocating military spouses can transfer professional licenses; amend continuing education requirements to levels established in state law; and repeal automatic 10-year bans on licensing for anyone convicted of a drug felony.

The veterinary board’s disciplinary options include revoking or suspending a certification or placing it on probationary status based on the facts of the case. The board also can order that a vet tech participate in the Department of State’s Professional Health Monitoring Program, which also offers a confidential voluntary recovery program.

The veterinary board’s waiver is in effect while the board pursues a change to a state regulation requiring the automatic 10-year ban.

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