Occupational Licensing: An Argument for Asserting State Control
Although the topic of state licensing has received voluminous exposure, city occupational licensing remains a part of the law that has been hurriedly bypassed. A closer look at this level of licensing throughout the country is absolutely necessary in order for any meaningful advance to be made in the improvement of state licensing functions and procedures. One area of licensing in which cities are very interested is that of the building trades. This seems to stem from the fact that such licensing helps the city governments to effectively police their building codes. Since the cities have no power beyond that given to them by the state, problems arise when the licensing of one or two of these building trade occupations is haphazardly pre-empted by the state. It is necessary, therefore, that the whole purpose behind the statutory inclusion and exclusion of particular trades be examined, and, after nearly seventy years, it is time for those who assail the entire topic of state licensing by commenting solely on its arbitrariness to propose definite solutions. As things presently stand, we have not traveled far from the observation made by Professor Jaffe in 1953 that “[t]he matter of standards in statutes and ordinances dealing with licensing of the common occupations has been in great confusion.”‘ This Note will speak to the background of both city and state licensing laws, to the problems which these two governmental entities create by working irrationally alone in the area, and, with a city licensing survey as a guide,’ to definite proposals that are designed to remedy some of the current ills and abuses.