Interstate Licensing Compacts

This blog compliments Episode 24 on the Arise & Build podcast where Lisa Pannett and I discuss the interstate compact language that was found in 4 different bills in 2023.  The end result was the passage of interstate licensing compacts for medical workers, counselors and social workers.  The language is the same for all three professions.  

Bill Links:
SB 70 sponsored by Senator Travis Fitzwater
SB 157 sponsored by Senator Rusty Black
HB 99 sponsored by Rep Bishop Davidson
HB 115 sponsored by Rep Brenda Shields

what are interstate compacts?

In the simplest of terms, interstate compacts are official agreements between states.  They are not required.  In fact, if you read the U.S. Constitution literally, they are unconstitutional.  

Black's Law Dictionary states the legal definition of the term 'compact' is:
"An agreement or contract. Usually applied to conventions between nations or sovereign states. A compact is a mutual consent of parties concerned respecting some property or right that is the object of the stipulation, or something that is to be done or forborne." 

"No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay."

Although the U.S. Constitution says states aren't allowed to enter into compacts with each other, the Supreme Court has adopted the precedent that only interstate compacts which would increase the State's power and undermine federal power need to be approved by Congress. 

The compacts we are discussing today are professional licensing compacts and, therefore, are not seen by SCOTUS as unconstitutional.  

what are interstate licensing compacts?

Licensing compacts between states are agreements that lay out how licensed professionals (such as doctors, nurses, surgeons, physical therapists, counselors, social workers, nail techs, emergency medical technicians, dentists, etc.) are able to practice in multiple states without jumping through more hurdles like testing, application processes, etc.

isn't that a good thing?

The simple answer is yes.  We want to allow our professionals to practice in other states, move more easily across state lines, etc.  


We already had the ability to have what's called reciprocity from one state to another.  It didn't NEED to be changed.

these compacts cede our state sovereignty

In these bills, we have opted in to interstate compacts that address our healtcare workers, counselors and social workers.

Missouri is now opted in to three different federal level commissions.  These commissions....

  • Have one member on the commission from each member state.  Missouri will have ONE unelected person on the commission with potentially 49 others from across the nation.
  • The rules of the Commission will be carried out in Missouri with the FULL FORCE of Missouri law.  Rules that will be written by people from across the nation and can be added to or amended at any time.  
  • The Commission is immune from any suit brought against them
  • The Commission, however, can bring suit against Missouri
  • The Commission can institute emergency rules with no notice
  • The Commission can revoke a license without notice if the licensee is under investigation
  • The Commission requires full participation in all data collection programs
  • and more.. more potentially dangerous things for Missourians

rules with full force of missouri law

This point is worth highlighting.  I want to make sure you understand.

These commissions now have the ability to write rules that will be enforced as law for Missouri.  

Unelected people from across the country will now, essentially, be writing laws that apply to Missouri professionals.

Think about Covid as that related to our doctors.  
Think about LGBTQ+ as it relates to our counselors.
Think about pandemics and left wing craziness as it relates to social workers.

Doctors = our healthcare.
Counselors = mental health & schools
Social workers = hospitals, schools, our families

What happens when this federal commission writes a rule that doctors can't deviate from CDC guidelines without losing their license?

What happens when this commission writes a rule that requires doctors to give hormones to pre-teens struggling with identity?

What happens when this commission writes a rule that requires social workers to remove kids from non-affirming homes?

What happens when the commission writes a rule that counselors will collect and submit specific data on their clients - which could be your children?

what can you do?

Call your senator and representative.  Ask them about their vote on this language.  Share the information you get with your friends and family.  Write down the date, what they said & hold them accountable.


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