Occupational licensing reform is on the march, and New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez is getting in on the action. Last week, she issued an executive order on licensing. According to the Institute for Justice’s Andrew Wimer:
The governor’s order requires licensing boards to review and report all requirements, processes and rules pertaining to the licenses they administer. Among other things, boards will have to report the number of states that license an occupation and provide additional justification for regulation if fewer than half of states license it. That’s especially important in New Mexico since the state is one of only 12 that license bartenders, six that license packers, and one of only two that license dietetic technicians.
Governor Martinez’s executive order follows the model of recently enacted legislation in Nebraska and a bill that recently passed the Ohio State Senate. Instead of pushing for outright repeal, Martinez is forcing licensing boards, particularly those that are uncommon in other states, to justify their existence.
Of course, forcing a review of licensing practices doesn’t guarantee any requirements will be removed in favor of less restrictive regulations. At the end of the day, the legislature still needs to make any substantive policy changes.
The Land of Enchantment was not one of the recipients of the $7 million in Department of Labor grants to study occupational licensing, but it is nonetheless jumping on the evidence-based policymaking bandwagon. The reports must be submitted by August 30 this year, so we won’t have to wait long to see what evidence the licensing boards can marshall in their defense.