Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt today announced a statewide initiative evaluating the burden of Missouri state regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To launch the initiative, Attorney General Schmitt sent a letter to Missouri’s professional licensing boards and commissions asking those bodies to reconsider licensing regulations that may hinder certain individuals or industries, specifically healthcare professionals, as they combat or deal with COVID-19. Governor Parson has recognized that state professional licensing regulations should not impose additional, unnecessary burdens on Missouri workers during these challenging times, and this letter and initiative is Attorney General Schmitt joining that effort.
As part of the effort, the Attorney General’s Office is also asking for input from citizens, businesses, and agencies on how to cut back on red tape in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Anyone with input is asked to email CutRedTape@ago.mo.gov or submit a form at https://ago.mo.gov/file-a-complaint/regulatory-reform
“The last thing our healthcare professionals should worry about as they bravely fight the spread of COVID-19 is unnecessary regulations or licensure issues. Inactive healthcare workers are sometimes blocked by regulations when attempting to help in this fight, and current healthcare workers shouldn’t be burdened by licensure deadlines or education coursework when they should be focused on patient care,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “Additionally, Missouri citizens and businesses are struggling in this unprecedented time. I want to hear directly from Missouri citizens, businesses, and agencies on how regulatory red tape can be cut during this pandemic. With everyone working together, we can make it through this crisis.”
Under § 27.060, RSMo, Attorney General Schmitt has the authority to decline prosecution on administrative actions relating to compliance issues that may be difficult or impossible due to COVID-19. Lawyers in the Attorney General’s Office will evaluate all referrals for enforcement action based on meeting regulatory deadlines or licensure issues in light of COVID-19.
The letter, sent earlier this morning, identifies three areas that regulations or licensure issues are hindering efforts as it relates to COVID-19:
- Regulations may force overburdened healthcare workers to worry about licensure deadlines or fees and continuing education coursework when they should be focused solely on patient care.
- Some regulations may prevent inactive or retired healthcare professionals from returning to work as rapidly as possible in helping to fight the spread of COVID-19
- Application deadlines, in person continuing education requirements and expensive fee structures may be unable to be met or detrimental to Missouri businesses and consumers.
The Attorney General’s Office identified nearly 100 potential regulations that could be suspended temporarily to avoid hindering healthcare workers, businesses, and other workers across the state during this crisis.
Additionally, in the letter, Attorney General Schmitt asks Missourians directly on how they think red tape can be cut in the midst of this pandemic. Missouri citizens, businesses, and agencies, can provide their input at CutRedTape@ago.mo.gov or by submitting a form at https://ago.mo.gov/file-a-complaint/regulatory-reform.