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Delays continue to plague Illinois agency responsible for issuing professional licenses

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(The Center Square) – Problems persist at the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation where the timely issuance of professional licenses continues to be an issue.

The agency had until March 7 to enter into a contract with a technology vendor to build a new computer software system in an effort to speed up the issuance of professional licenses.

IDFPR administers licenses for over 100 different professions including nurses, barbers, roofers, social workers, dentists and others. In Illinois, over 1 million people need a professional license or registration to work.

During a recent subject matter hearing, Holly Woodruff with the Illinois Nurses Association said many nurses are left in limbo after they take their final exams.

“They take boards, they get prepared, they find out within a couple of days whether they pass or not, and then they have to just wait,” said Woodruff. “Sometimes the wait is excruciating, especially when you have to start paying your student loans within a couple of months.”

Woodruff added that Illinois is losing quality medical professionals to Missouri and Iowa because of the license delays.

State Rep. Bob Morgan, D-Deerfield, said the license delays can cause a ripple effect.

“A number of associations continue to experience delays and challenges in getting their members licenses timely,” said Morgan. “It impacts not only the individual licensee, but our economy, our health care system and everything that we are trying to achieve as a state.”

The acting director of the agency blamed much of the delays to a large backlog that has built up in recent years.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker asked for a 20% increase in funding for the agency, but that could be in doubt with news that there is an $800 million shortfall in the proposed 2025 budget.