Lawmaker Looks to Cap License Renewal Fees for Dozens of Professions

State Sen. Ryan Fazio, R-Greenwich (CT Examiner).


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HARTFORD — Citing the high cost of doing business in Connecticut, one lawmaker has proposed capping annual renewal fees for nearly 100 licensed professions in the state.

“We feel that it is unfair to working-class and middle-class workers and limits opportunities for them. It limits economic growth and it raises the cost of living for everybody,” State Sen. Ryan Fazio, R-Greenwich, said. 

Fazio, a member of the Finance, Revenue & Bonding Committee, is spearheading efforts to cap annual renewal fees for health care professionals at $200 and general license fees at $100. His proposals would also eliminate application fees.  

Renewal fees for many professions are just too exorbitant, he said.

Physicians in New York and Massachusetts must pay $600 every two years to renew their licenses, he explained, but in Connecticut, physicians and surgeons pay $575 annually or $1,150 every two years.

Other annual renewal fees in Connecticut include $500 for athletic trainers, $700 for tree trimmers, $800 for opticians, and $1,000 for preschool teachers. In total, the bills would affect the renewal fees of 83 professions.

If the two separate bills — one for healthcare professionals and one for general licenses — passes and is signed into law by Gov. Ned Lamont, the state would lose $20 million in annual revenue. But Fazio said the money can be made up in other ways.

“In my view, this is not the best way to raise revenue, to tax people who are qualified and licensed to work already,” he said. “You are limiting economic growth, which will limit your tax revenues. It [status quo] hurts our overall tax base generally.”

Fazio said the bills have bipartisan support and have passed out of committee. State Rep. Eleni Kavros DeGraw, D-Avon, told CT Examiner this week that the bills “are gaining momentum.”

“We’ve heard about this time and time again, from so many different professions that are repeatedly saying, ‘Hey, if we could just have a break on our licensures that would go a long way in helping us,”’ Kavros DeGraw said.

Huyler Marsh, a certified public accountant, also submitted testimony at a public hearing earlier this month, saying the annual renewal fees are “a shock.”

“I am a CPA that recently moved from Texas to Connecticut,” Marsh stated. “The CPA license and certificate fees in this state are ridiculous and a shock. In Texas, the CPA board had its own dedicated staff, offices and responsive support all for the licensure fee of $85. Here in Connecticut, I had to wait two weeks for a response to emails and paid nearly $600 for a reciprocal application.”

Barbara Bunk, a psychologist with a private practice in Glastonbury, also submitted testimony supporting the legislation.

“It’s passage will certainly take a giant step in maintaining and encouraging the workforce of Connecticut’s health care professionals during this time of dire need. … The changes in fees as outlined in SB 74 will provide much needed relief for practicing psychologists, as Connecticut’s fee is among the highest in the nation,” Bunk wrote.

Connecticut Business & Industry Association Vice President of Public Policy Chris Davis told CT Examiner on Wednesday that the bills would provide a huge boost to many individuals, primarily low-income entrepreneurs.

“It also has a disproportionate impact on low-income entrepreneurs, as it really is a barrier for them to enter into a business because of the high costs of the potential license,” said Davis, a former Republican state representative for Ellington from 2011 to 2022. “You couple that with Connecticut’s kind of outlier in the requirements necessary to get a license and the restrictions put on transferring a license from another state, and it makes it very difficult for workers here in Connecticut to move up within their career or start a new business.”

Robert Storace

Robert Storace is a veteran reporter with stints at New Britain Herald, the New Haven Register, the Connecticut Post, Hartford Business Journal and the Connecticut Law Tribune. Storace covers the State Capitol for CT Examiner. T: 203 437 5950