Blagojevich announces major changes to help more than 1 million
professionals in Illinois get their licenses faster
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Applications that currently take four to 19 weeks for processing
will be processed within one to four weeks
[FEB. 11, 2006]
SPRINGFIELD -- On Wednesday, Gov. Rod R.
Blagojevich announced major changes intended to help more than 1
million professionals get or renew their licenses in less time.
Currently, it takes four to 19 weeks to process an application for a
license. The governor's initiative would reduce that time to one to
four weeks -- a reduction of more than 400 percent.
The governor's licensing
reform initiative will help doctors, nurses, realtors, real estate
brokers, barbers, beauticians and almost 200 other professions
licensed by the state of Illinois. More than 1 million people hold
professional licenses with the state. The initiative will be
highlighted by the governor in next week's budget address.
because it has always taken months to process applications doesn't
mean it has to stay that way," Blagojevich said. "If we can tear
down the tollbooths, give every child access to health insurance and
eliminate record budget deficits without raising taxes, we can cut
the time it takes to process licenses."
To do this, the Illinois Department of Finance and Professional
Regulation is installing a new system to capture applicant data for
all licenses quickly and accurately. The department will also
streamline the applications, reducing the time it takes a
professional to fill it out and review it.
Once the process is automated and streamlined, the department
will augment its current staff with 29 new employees to ensure
completed applications are processed in one month or less. This
initiative is expected to cost $1.6 million annually, and funding
for the initial year will be included in the governor's fiscal 2007
The licensing reform initiative will significantly help
professionals in Illinois with their licensing applications by:
delivery of notices for an incomplete application by using
e-mail and fax instead of regular mail.
licensees to use the faster online renewal system. Postcards
asking professionals to renew their licenses online will be
mailed instead of paper applications.
applicants to check the status of license applications online.
superfluous "work history form" from license applications.
applicants to submit one complete application upfront instead of
waiting for institutions to submit necessary documentation.
initial application forms to an online format by May 2007.
The licensing reform initiative is part of the governor's
regulatory reform initiative announced during his 2005 State of the
State address and is part of his larger effort to make it easier to
do business in Illinois.
The governor's actions since 2003 to cut red tape, streamline
regulations and make it easier to do business in Illinois include
A landmark workers'
compensation reform, the first in the state in 20 years. The
reform, aimed at reducing business costs, increasing benefits
and fighting fraud, includes the implementation of a medical fee
schedule to contain costs, which would save Illinois businesses
millions of dollars annually; a workers' compensation fraud unit
that will investigate charges of fraud and will investigate
reporting of fraudulent claims by employees; and the creation of
a third panel of the Workers' Compensation Commission to
expedite the resolution of disputed claims.
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Working with the
Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce to bring together small
businesses and negotiate better small-business health insurance
rates and reduce administrative expenses.
Illinois Business Portal,
www.business.illinois.gov. To date, the site has been
visited by over 150,000 unique visitors, an average of 20,000 a
month. The Illinois Business Portal gives businesses useful
information on how to start a business, find forms and find the
agency they need to talk to, and it provides easy-to-find
information on taxes, mandatory posters and small-business
processes for nurses looking to obtain licenses in Illinois,
including elimination of the Commission on Graduates of Foreign
Nurses Schools test from the licensing requirements, making name
change forms easier to find online and streamlining the
regarding exempt versus nonexempt status of Illinois employees.
In July, the Illinois Department of Labor put a chart on its
website that clearly explained exempt and nonexempt status,
using both state and federal guidelines. Increased clarity on
this issue reduced the need for consultants and lawyers, saving
Capital Development Board's process to return retainage funds to
contractors. This allows contractors to obtain their money
quicker and easier.
information from applications, allowing the Capital Development
Board to speed payments to contractors.
business forms from paper to an online format. Now businesses
can file taxes and use most of the Department of Revenue's forms
online. Over 1,400 other forms from 15 state agencies are in the
process of being converted to online formats.
requirement that U.S.-trained doctors supply a Latin-English
translation for their medical school diploma. This increased
efficiency for the Division of Professional Regulation and
prevented delays for physicians looking to receive their
clarifying paperwork for businesses. For example, the initiative
recently improved the Employer Training Investment Program grant
application by following suggestions from Illinois businesses.
These changes will save companies time by making the application
easier to use.
Creating a website
that helps employers file taxes for their household employees
online; signing into law a bill that allows employers to file
these taxes annually instead of quarterly.
[News release from the governor's