News and Commentary
The state of Wisconsin has observed a large increase in state-issued licenses for various types of work according to a new report by Badger Institute and Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty. The state assembly is debating a bill to require future licensing requirements be evaluated before they’re passed into law.
The James Madison Institute has published a policy brief detailing the impact occupational licensing has on workers in Florida. This is especially timely as Florida’s legislature considers several pieces of legislation such as HB 3 to constrain the use of occupational licenses by local governments. The Florida Phoenix has also reported on two bills related to this issue in more depth. Others in the state are pushing back, claiming these types of licensing processes are necessary to ensure quality. Curiously, these types of critiques always fail to cite exactly what kinds of harm have occurred in other states when unnecessary licensing regulation is repealed.
Ohio’s legislature is considering occupational licensing reciprocity, which would require the state to recognize comparable licenses from other states. A similar bill has already been signed by the governor with regard to military spouses.
A similar push to expand a reciprocity policy for more than just military spouses is occurring in North Dakota. Smoothing these barriers caused by occupational licensing is being considered especially in the context of local business leaders struggling to find workers. Other rural states like Maine have also experienced the drawbacks of occupational licensing when licensing tests are not offered in the languages of newcomers.
Idaho is apparently the state to be if you want to find optometrists arguing with ophthalmologists. The latter would like to prevent new legislation that would allow the former to provide certain types of laser-assisted eye surgery.