Hello, I am State Senator Rob Stafsholt. I represent the people of the 10th Senate District in Northwest Wisconsin.

Over the last couple of years, I have heard from many frustrated constituents that are dealing with unnecessary delays, confusion and lack of communication while attempting to get their occupational license from the Department of Safety and Professional Services. These unnecessary delays cause individuals to postpone starting their careers or stops them from entering the workforce. Wisconsin businesses are struggling to find qualified workers so we need to ensure our licensure process is streamlined and functions efficiently.

For those reasons, Republican leadership created the Legislative Council Study Committee on Occupational Licenses and I am honored to be the Chair.

Over the last few months, we have been working in a bipartisan effort to come up with reforms to streamline the licensure process and ease the current backlog at DSPS. We are looking for long-term solutions that will fix the problems plaguing their department. However, DSPS continues to stand in our way and refuses to provide the committee with the information we have asked for.

The lack of participation and attention that the department has shown towards the committee has been very frustrating. We are particularly concerned that it took over two months for the department to respond to four basic questions from the committee, while it took less than a day for the department to email license holders falsely claiming the committee is considering eliminating their license.

The study committee was created with the goal of finding solutions so current and future license holders can be licensed in a timely manner. As members, we were tasked with finding common sense, bipartisan solutions to this very serious and real problem in Wisconsin. We need to solve the problems plaguing DSPS and we will not allow them to turn this committee into a political sideshow.

I am proud of the work the committee has done so far and I look forward to presenting our recommendations to the legislature.

Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!

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