Gov. Mike DeWine recently signed into law House Bill 442, which will create flexibility for students to take the Certified Public Accountants’ (CPA) exam earlier, and ease a number of other occupational licensing requirements in Ohio. After the enactment of legislation in 2019 to require all licenses be regularly reviewed by the state Legislature, the review process culminated in a wide-ranging set of recommendations, which were codified after being amended into House Bill 442.
“Occupational licensing reform is much needed in Ohio and across the country,” said State Rep. Bill Roemer (R-Richfield), a primary sponsor of the bill. “In far too many career fields, onerous barriers and regulations are placed on workers that just want to earn an honest living. I was proud to carry these reforms as part of House Bill 442.”
House Bill 442, amended by the Senate to include these changes in December, was originally written to allow prospective accountants to take the Certified Public Accountants (CPA) exam after 120 of the required 150 hours of instruction, providing more flexibility for students to test when they are ready. The bill was then amended to include other licensing reform provisions pertaining to licenses in the areas of education, environmental protection, natural resource conservation, and various types of medical practice, as a result of the statutory licensing review process.
“I am grateful that the Governor recognizes the importance of HB 442 for aspiring CPAs in Ohio and for other folks navigating the state’s occupational licensure processes,” said Representative Thomas West (D–Canton), who jointly sponsored the bill with Representative Roemer. “HB 442 is a student-friendly bill that makes the process of taking the CPA exam more flexible for aspiring CPAs, and it simplifies several different occupational licensure processes. These changes will make Ohio a more competitive state and a better place to study and to work.”
The bill was signed by Gov. DeWine on Jan. 8th, and will go into effect on April 8th.