Something Really Smells in Olympia
By: Keith Allison
The title is wrong, it doesnâ€™t just smell, it reeks; Olympia reeks of corruption, favoritism, back room deals and money under the table going into politicians, judges and bureaucrats outstretched, up turned palms.
Curiosity got the best of me again, so I started looking at some of the licensing/regulation fees for a variety of occupations, most of which may represent some potential for harm to the public. Well, it seems that just recently, our ethics deprived legislators authorized some of the licensing/regulation fees to be increased among select occupations; dentistry was not one of them.
Anyway, hereâ€™s a break-down on some of those occupations. Until the legislature decided it didnâ€™t have enough money to continue the rape of Washington state citizens, Acupuncturists (1,150 practitioners) paid $50.00 for their initial license to punch holes in peopleâ€™s hides. Just recently, the legislature authorized those regulatory fees to be raised to $100.00. Also, they used to pay $90.00 to renew their â€œobligationâ€ to the state; now, it has leaped to $196.00.
Dentistry (6,027 practitioners) was an exception to the rising cost of regulating tooth their occupation involving tooth extractions, intra-oral surgery, dental prosthetic services, fillings, crowns and bridges, and unjust enrichment for the services they believe they have the exclusive right to provide to the public. Their licensing fee remains at $700.00, but the renewal of that license went from $375.00 to $551.00. I canâ€™t help but ponder why the renewal of a dental license needed to be increased without raising the cost of dentists initial licensing procedure.
The application fee for a Registered Dental Assistant (9,676 practitioners) remains at $40.00, but the renewal of the application increased by $1.00. The fee for an expanded function dental auxiliary application remained at $175.00, and their renewal fee remained steady at $160.00.
A Licensed Mental Health Counselor (4,717 practitioners) Application went from $125.00 to $140.00, and the Initial License fee remained at $125.00 whereas the renewal fee went from $75.00 to $138.00. Social Worker â€“ Licensed Advanced and Independent Clinical application and initial license fee remained stabilize at $125.00, but their renewal went from $105.00 to $126.00.
Midwifery (109 practitioners), a potentially harmful occupation, licensing fees went from $450.00 to $500.00. There is a National Examination Administration fee for midwives of $103.00, their State Examination went from $154.50 to $155.00, but their renewal fees went from $450.00 to $500.00.
The Registration Application fee for a Nursing Assistant (69,861 practitioners) rose from $30.00 to $48.00 and their Renewal fee went from $40.00 to $53.00. In order for Nursing Assistant to apply for or become Certified, the fees are the same.
For an RN (79,980 practitioners), it costs $67.00 to make an application for licensure and to renew their license, it costs $76.00. An LPN (14,010 practitioners) is required to now pay $87.00 for their initial application, and $91.00 in order to renew their license. For an ARNP (4,257 practitioners)to make application with or without prescriptive authority (per specialty), their licensing fees went from $85.00 to $92.00, and for a renewal of their license, that went from $65.00 to $96.00. A nurse Technologist (358 practitioners) application fee went from $85.00 to $92.00 while their renewal of registration went from $55.00 to $91.00.
Until this year, optometrists (1,478 practitioners) paid an application fee of $175.00, and that did not change. Their License renewal fee went from $150.00 to $199.00. Application for a Radiologic Technologist and/or X-Ray Technician (5,7442 practitioners) the application for a Radiologic Technologist remained steady at $150.00, but the renewal of their license went from $70.00 to $105.00. Licensure for an X-Ray Technician Application went from $75.00 to $105.00 and the renewal of that license went from $75.00 to $103.00. A Recreational Therapy (134 practitioners) application still costs $205.00, but the renewal rate jumped from $155.00 to $230.00. A respiratory Care (1,278 practitioners) application soared from $150.00 to $210.00 and their Renewal fees went from $110.00 to $165.00.
Last but not least, the Denturist Licensing Fee (132 practitioners). The application fee went from $1,450.00 to $1,500.00 and the Examination fee costs $1,500.00. Itâ€™s not likely that very many people will pass the initial denturist licensing exam unless they have â€œan inâ€ with those who brought about the unconstitutional Denturist Licensing Act. For those who are required to retake the written and/or practical examination, that will cost you an additional $500.00. Oh yes, lets not forget the License Renewal fee for a denturist license. That went from $1,600.00 to a mere $1,855.00. I donâ€™t know about my readers, but it appears to me the state and/or already licensed denturists donâ€™t want any increases in competition from others seeking to practice an occupation that has been proven to represent no known potential for harm to anyone.
Anyway, no matter how you look at those figures, thereâ€™s a tremendous amount of money changing hands and going into government pockets. Do your own multiplication on any of the licensing fees times the number of practitioners of a given occupation, and youâ€™ll quickly discover the amount of money weâ€™re talking about.