Florida's Professionals Supported with Legislative Amnesty and Hardship Board Rule
August 6, 2009
TALLAHASSEE—Every American has his or her eye on the economy, seeking signs of stabilization and revival. With Florida’s unemployment rate at 10.6 percent in June, it is more important than ever that licensing and regulatory agencies do everything within their means to assist customers and stimulate the economy. Recently, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation executed legislation and board rule that will help Florida’s professionals become licensed quicker. Certified public accountants and landscape architects can now re-enter their fields or renew licenses with reduced continuing education requirements, thereby reducing costs and burden.
“We have seen great leadership from the Legislature and our professional boards during these challenging economic times. I am honored to work with such distinguished partners to support Florida’s professionals,” stated Secretary Charles W. Drago. “Adaptation in government is essential, and these changes demonstrate that law and rule makers understand that adjustments are necessary to meet the needs of Florida’s professionals.”
Florida certified public accountants who have been out of the profession can now return to work sooner. Legislation passed during the 2009 session and signed by Governor Charlie Crist allows inactive CPAs to reactivate their Florida CPA licenses with fewer continuing education requirements. This will allow those currently holding inactive licenses an affordable option to return to the profession. The licensee is still required to demonstrate professional knowledge and skills by completing continuing education used for reactivation within two years immediately preceding application.
Landscape architects will benefit from a similar adjustment, the waiving of continuing education requirements for one year due to hardship. The Board of Landscape Architects passed a rule that allows landscape architects who have suffered financial hardship to request consideration for a waiver of continuing education requirements. Landscape architects who are granted the waiver will be able to renew their licenses and will not have to demonstrate completion of their continuing education until Nov. 30, 2010. Similar to the legislation affecting CPAs, this landscape architect hardship rule reduces the cost and burden for license renewal for those who qualify.
The Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s mission is to license efficiently and regulate fairly. The department licenses nearly one million businesses and professionals ranging from real estate agents, veterinarians, and accountants to contractors and cosmetologists. For more information, please visit MyFloridaLicense.com.