Reformers target occupational licensure

Alden Abbott reports at Truth on the Market on legislative initiatives to curb occupational licensure, which often works to limit competition and consumer choice.

At the state level, the American Legislative Exchange Council has developed something called the Model Occupational Board Reform Act, with four components:

The State will use the least restrictive regulation necessary to protect consumers from present, significant and substantiated harms that threaten public health and safety.

An occupational regulation may be enforced against an individual only to the extent the individual sells goods and services that are included explicitly in the statute that defines the occupation’s scope of practice.

The attorney general will establish an office of supervision of occupational boards. The office is responsible for actively supervising state occupational boards.

The legislature will establish a position in its nonpartisan research staff to analyze occupational regulations. The position is responsible for reviewing legislation and laws related to occupational regulations.

While the federal government’s involvement in the subject is relatively limited, Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) have introduced a bill intended to liberalize licensure in the District of Columbia, military bases and in national parks.

More on licensure: Patricia Cohen, New York Times. Its relation to economic inequality [David Henderson] And why does the state of Louisiana require 750 hours of training before you can pluck eyebrows as a living? [Kevin Boyd, The Hayride]

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