ATLANTA - In an effort to help Georgia's economy bounce back from the slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced Monday his office will try to streamline the licensing process.
"How we plan for our recovery today will greatly impact our economic recovery the next several years," said Raffensperger.
According to the Secretary of State, there are about 500,000 workers in Georgia who need a state license for their job, including nurses, cosmetologists, contractors, and funeral directors.
"In the coming weeks, my office will introduce a reform package to make it easier for people to enter many different trades safely, while allowing the state to focus their health and safety regulatory efforts where they are needed, especially in these tight budgetary times," Raffensperger explained.
In March, the state accelerated processing the licenses of any nurse who came to Georgia to help treat coronavirus patients. Raffensperger said his reforms will make similar changes for all licensed professionals in the state.
He hopes to have the reform package ready to present to state lawmakers for their consideration when they return to the state Capitol in June.
"People understand that we need to continue to look at ways of moving Georgia forward," said Raffensperger.
He also said the pandemic should serve as a "wake-up call" to our country and our state about the need for more manufacturing.
"We have learned a harsh lesson," said Raffensperger. "Over the last three decades, our country has become overly reliant on overseas suppliers like China for critical needs like medicine, protective equipment, and electronics. This is a trend that negatively impacted our workers and our citizens as we struggled to gear up and address this health emergency. We need to take steps here at home in America and Georgia specifically to create again."