Missouri Certification Action Alert

I'm writing today to make sure that you are aware of two bills which have passed the Missouri legislature and are on their way to Lieutenant Governor Mike Parson's desk for signature, in advance of his ascension to the governorship on Friday evening. The bills (HB 1719 and HB 1500), if enacted, would have many far-reaching and disastrous effects, including disallowing the use of the word "certified" when referring to voluntary third-party credentials, such as ACE or BCE

Some of the provisions in the bills which are most concerning to the Entomological Society of America Certification Corporation (ESACC) include: 

  • They would take under state control the hundreds of non-governmental professional credentialing programs using the term "certification."
  • The bills would limit the right to use the title "registered" to those professionals whom state law requires to register with the state. It precludes professionals who hold private credentials using the term "registered" from truthfully advertising their earned credentials.
  • HB 1719 establishes standards for state-controlled licensing programs that are so rigorous and unrealistic that they could effectively result in ending state licensing of the professions, including doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc.

Both of these bills have been modified beyond their original intent in such a way as to serve as a threat to the livelihood of professionals like you who have chosen to earn an industry-leading credential, like ACE or BCE. HB 1719, the "Professional Employer Organization Act" was originally intended to modify the state government's approach to the licensing of occupations and professional employer organizations. HB 1500 was introduced to address occupational requirements for working as a barber, hairdresser, or cosmetologist. They have both instead become vehicles to completely alter the State of Missouri's approach to private certifications and professional licensing. In particular, you are encouraged to review pages 35-37 of HB 1719 and pages 2-3 of HB 1500.

The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), an organization which represents the association industry, recently drafted and sent a letter to the incoming Governor which analyzes the legislation and provides a deeper briefing. A copy of the letter is online here.
If you would like to share your views on the value of voluntary certification programs like ACE and BCE, we encourage you to contact the incoming Governor. Contact information is on the website here
Chelle Hartzer, BCE 
2018 Chair of the ESA Certification Corporation's Certification Board

Update - June 4, 2018:
Outgoing Governor Eric Greitens signed the legislation (HB 1719) into law just prior to his resignation. The bill was wrapped into an omnibus package that required the governor's signature prior to the end of the legislative session. ASAE is working with Missouri Senator Jeanie Riddle's office (Chair of the Professional Registration Committee in the Missouri Senate) on a legislative fix. Check back for additional updates.