Bill seeks to ease wait time to renew professional licenses

Bill seeks to ease wait time to renew professional licenses

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ATLANTA -

Some relief may be coming for small business owners and others who have faced an unintended consequence of Georgia's immigration law. They've seen big delays in obtaining and renewing professional licenses.

Fayetteville tax accountant Eddie Brown said that he supports strong immigration laws, but he knows about the law of unintended consequences.

"Almost everything that the feds or the state does ends up with unintended consequences," Brown said.

Legislation has been introduced at the state Capitol that attempts to correct an unforeseen problem in Georgia's 2011 immigration law.

The Secretary of State's office says long waits have been experienced to renew professional licenses. Applicants from accountants to barbers to plumbers have been affected.

The bill would require proof of citizenship to be submitted once instead of each time a license is renewed.

Gov. Deal says he supports the change.

"It sounds to me like that is a reasonable and practical approach. I think it still meets the criteria of the original intent of the legislation but solves the practical problems of delaying the relicensing of people," Deal said.

The bill is supported by the National Federation of Independent Business.

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