Today, June 8, 2017, Governor Roy Cooper signed HB 57, The Physical Therapy Licensure Compact (PTLC), into law. North Carolina became the 11th state to join the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact.
HB 57 will improve access to Physical Therapy services and allow military spouses and Physical Therapists from other Compact states to have their licenses mutually recognized by North Carolina. By adopting the PTLC, North Carolina will participate in a system in which a PT or PTA with a valid, unencumbered license in one participating state may obtain a compact privilege to practice in another participating state. Once the PTLC is implemented, qualified PTs and PTAs will be able to choose any or all participating compact states to gain practice privileges, but will only need to maintain licensure in their "home" state. North Carolina joins Washington, Arizona, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Tennessee, and Utah as members of the PTLC.
Dr. Kyle Covington, NCPTA President, said, "North Carolina is pleased to be the 11th state to successfully pass legislation joining the licensure compact. This important move allowing our members to work across borders has a significant impact in our state due to the heavy military presence in North Carolina. As families move in and out of the bases in our state, military personnel and their spouses will more easily be able to practice because of the compact. Additionally, many of the therapists in North Carolina work and practice in border regions affecting both rural and urban centers in our state. This legislation will allow those therapists to live and work across borders. Most importantly, this legislation will benefit the citizens of our state and surrounding states. As more states pass this legislation and join the compact, patients will have access to more qualified therapists licensed to practice where the patients live."
States that pass the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact by June 14 will be able to have a seat on the Licensure Compact Commission. Because North Carolina passed HB 57 by June 14th, North Carolina will have a representative on the Compact Commission. The North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners, will appoint a delegate to the Compact Commission at its June 14, 2017 meeting. The delegate will attend the first Commission meeting that same day.
The House passed HB 57, the Senate substitute of The Physical Therapy Licensure Compact, unanimously by a vote of 108-0 on May 30. The Physical Therapy Compact Licensure bill passed the full Senate on May 23, by a vote of 47 - 0. The Compact passed the Senate Health Committee unanimously on May 18. The Licensure Compact was amended by Senator Wells in the Senate Health Care Committee adding SB 8, to the Compact legislation. SB 8 would ease occupational licensing burdens on military families by allowing military members and their spouses to practice their professions under licensure from another state while transitioning to the requirement of the licensing boards of North Carolina. The Physical Therapy Licensure Compact legislation was sponsored by Rep. John Szoka, Representative Grier Martin, and Representative Holly Grange in the House.