Not all occupational licensing reforms need to be as aggressive as outright elimination of licensing requirements for certain professions. A recently enacted reform in Nebraska and similar laws being considered in Louisiana and New Hampshire take a more creative approach by forcing a regular review of licensing requirements.
Under existing law, Ohio’s occupational licensing boards have free reign over fees, rules regarding conduct and the processes of licenses. Licensing boards are often made up of industry insiders, which leads them receive criticism for creating rules that shield themselves from outside competition.
Ohio Senate Bill 255, which recently passed the Senate, seeks to rein in this power by establishing legislative oversight that includes the review of certain policies and the possible abolition of certain boards if board members cannot prove that it is necessary.
The vote in the Senate (24-8) was highly partisan. Only one Democrat voted for the bill with no Republicans in opposition. Of course, this bill wouldn’t immediately change anything. But putting licensing requirements under regular scrutiny will expose the costs of licensing, bringing regressive regulations that thrive in the darkness into the light.