December 2009 – Notice to Licensees Regarding
Office of Enterprise Technology Licensing Surcharge
Minnesota Statutes Section 16E.22 - State Wide Electronic Licensing System
In the 2009 legislative session, the Minnesota Office of Enterprise Technology (OET) proposed to the legislature that an electronic (e-licensing) system for a “one-stop shop” for the issuing of business and professional licenses be created through a secure single point of entry. The bill included a request for funds to provide for completion of the Minnesota electronic licensing system, for transferring licensing agencies to the system, and for operation and maintenance of the system during the completion and transfer period. The bill passed.
Q: What does this mean for licensees of the Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy (BBHT)?
A: It means that for the next six years, a 10% surcharge will be assessed on every new application and renewal application received at the BBHT. For alcohol and drug counselors who apply to obtain or renew a license, a surcharge of $29.50 will be assessed to fund OET’s project. For licensed professional counselors and licensed professional clinical counselors who apply to obtain or renew a license, a surcharge of $25.00 will be assessed to fund OET’s project.
Q: What is the benefit to licensees of the BBHT?
A: The answer is yet to be determined. A key piece of the law is that “The transfer of an existing electronic licensing system to the Minnesota electronic licensing system may not reduce the critical functionality provided by the existing system.”
All of the health licensing boards currently offer on-line services in some form. The health licensing boards recognized years ago that developing and offering on-line electronic licensing services was a good idea. The boards have already expended thousands of dollars to develop efficient systems that meet the business needs of each board and offer services to applicants and licensees. At present, BBHT is in the process of working with a contractor to develop a single licensing database that will enable BBHT applicants and licensees to take advantage of on-line services (e.g. pay fees by credit card, renew on-line, etc.)
The health licensing boards are currently seeking clarification from other state government entities on how to collect the surcharge and ensure that functionality that currently exists is not lost by a transfer to the OET system.
Q: When will BBHT be transferred to the new system?
A: The law provides that “Licenses regulated by a health board under chapter 214 must not be transferred to the Minnesota electronic licensing system before July 1, 2011.”
Q: Does this mean that BBHT will cease to exist and will no longer license and regulate alcohol and drug counselors and professional counselors?
A: No. BBHT remains the licensing and regulatory board for alcohol and drug counselors and professional counselors. Most state agencies (including the board) will retain their database and licensing systems operations and will link up to the e-licensing gateway. Persons who access the e-licensing portal will be directed back to the licensing entity for specific licensing information and processes. It is unknown at this point in time how much on-line services activity will take place from the OET e-licensing portal (for example, license verifications, electronic payments/financial transactions, or applying for or renewing a license).
Q: Who should I contact for more information about e-licensing?
A: You may obtain further information from the Office of Enterprise Technology website (www.oet.state.mn.us) and in particular from www.license.mn.gov (select “State Agencies” from the menu at the top of the home page). You may also contact your state senator and representative to provide them with your input on the e-licensing initiative. For information on how to contact your legislator go to www.leg.state.mn.us. Scroll down on the home page until you see “How Do I…” and select contact my legislator.