DENVER, April 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- On April 13, 2011, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill into law that waives the professional licensee renewal fee and continuing education requirements of U.S. Armed Forces members holding a professional or occupation license administered by the Dept. of Regulatory Agency's (DORA) Division of Registrations. The law applies to military personnel who have served in a federal status at least 120 days during a particular renewal cycle in support of war, emergency, or contingency operation.
The bill emerged at a grass-roots level in the spring of 2010, when Veteran, licensed professional engineer and member of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Colorado (ACEC/CO) Michael Griffeth was in the process of rebuilding his engineering business following 6 1/2 years of military service that included a nine-month involuntary mobilization for a tour in Iraq. The former U.S. Air Force Captain and Civil Engineering Officer in the 140th Wing of the Colorado Air National Guard, and president of Griffeth Structural, LLC is licensed in 13 states and as he was working to restart his business he found that Colorado was not among the states that had laws in place to support professionally licensed military personnel during periods of active duty service.
Griffeth contacted his local representative to see if something could be done to address this issue in Colorado and with the guidance and support of ACEC/CO Executive Director Marilen Reimer, he worked with state Rep. Sue Schafer who became the bill's sponsor along with state Sen. Bob Bacon. Both houses of the Colorado legislature unanimously passed the bill.
Led by a professional engineer, the law benefits a wide range of licensed professionals covered by DORA including accountants, architects, dentists, electricians, engineers, pharmacists, physicians, plumbers and nurses.
Although there is not a significant monetary benefit, the bill does help active duty military, reservists and members of the National Guard. "It's really an emotional thank you and shows that Colorado recognizes and honors the commitment and sacrifice of our military personnel and their families," said Griffeth. "Those serving in the National Guard already live dual lives and this is one less item our military personnel have to keep track of to maintain their civilian credentials," he added.
SOURCE American Council of Engineering Companies of Colorado