Issue Background

Wisconsin R.T. Legislation

Relating to review of and reports concerning occupational licenses: Read Assembly Bill 369 text. Senate Bill 288 text

Relating to the establishment of a self-certification registry operated by the Department of Safety and Professional Services, granting rule-making authority, and providing a penalty: Read Assembly Bill 370 text. Senate Bill 296 text.

WSRT Continues to Monitor Occupational Licensure Reform Bills

Thanks to your advocacy efforts, the language included in the Wisconsin state budget bill to eliminate the Wisconsin Radiography Examining Board was removed!

However, the Wisconsin Society of Radiologic Technologists continues to closely monitor several bills under consideration in the Wisconsin Legislature that could weaken or lead to the elimination of Wisconsin’s radiologic technologist licensure law. 

Assembly Bill 369/Senate Bill 288 would create an occupational license review council to recommend professions to be deregulated. Assembly Bill 370/Senate Bill 296 would create a self-certification registry and require the Department of Safety and Professional Services to recommend professions that currently have licensure standards in place to be able to voluntarily self-certify based on examinations provided by external organizations.  Self-certification would eliminate licensure requirements and instead create a state registry with the names of individuals who have been certified by a national or state organization.  Non-registered individuals would be able to practice without any penalty. Assembly Bill 384/Senate Bill 295 would sunset all administrative rules governing licensure programs after seven years, requiring state agencies and boards to rewrite their operating standards.

Wisconsin’s radiologic technologist licensure law was enacted in 2010, and prior to the law’s enactment anyone in Wisconsin was allowed to perform medical imaging examinations. Without this law, our state’s citizens were at risk of unnecessary exposure to radiation at potentially harmful dosages. Unnecessary radiation can increase a patient’s risk of cancer, chromosomal mutations and cause damage to developing fetuses in pregnant women.  Wisconsin’s licensure law created the Radiography Examining Board to regulate the practice of radiographers and limited x-ray machine operators.

Talking Points to Use When Discussing the Need to Retain Radiography Licensure in Wisconsin:

  • Assembly Bill 369/Senate Bill 288 and Assembly Bill 370/Senate Bill 296 will require the review of all professions in the state, including health professions. Wisconsin’s radiologic technologist licensure law should not be up for debate. There is a clear public safety, health and welfare component of patient care that is addressed through radiologic technologist licensure. Radiologic technologists are responsible for ensuring patients receive the lowest dose of ionizing radiation possible during procedures. Ionizing radiation is a known carcinogen and can be harmful, or even deadly, if administered improperly.
  • Both the self-certification and Occupational License Review Council bills open the door to potential repeal of radiologic technologist licensure. These bills could return the profession to the time before licensure was enacted and anyone in Wisconsin was allowed to perform x-ray imaging procedures on patients.  
  • The Occupational License Review Council bills (Assembly Bill 369/Senate Bill 288) do not have a process that guarantees that the public or patients will be able to provide input to the Council. The Council must be required to have public hearings on their recommendations before final adoption.
  • After much scrutiny and vetting during the legislative process, the Wisconsin Legislature voted to establish licensure for radiologic technologists. WSRT strongly believes in our licensure law that is narrowly tailored and includes a provision to make sure that individuals who were already performing x-rays as part of their job were not forced out.
  •  Assembly Bill 369/Senate Bill 288, which creates an Occupational License Review Council, is unnecessary and duplicative because after several statewide hearings and much deliberation, the Joint Finance Committee rejected the idea of creating a licensure review council and voted instead on May 11 to require DSPS to conduct a study of all licensure laws in the state. DSPS is required by language currently included in the state budget to submit a report on licensure laws by December 31, 2018 to the Governor and Legislature. This is the same reporting deadline created by Assembly Bill 369/Senate Bill 288. Since a study is already being conducted, we do not see the need for additional legislation.