- Sens. Marco Rubio, Elizabeth Warren team up on federal bill to curb practice of yanking occupational licenses over unpaid student debt [Eric Boehm] “Pennsylvania’s Governor Calls for Abolishing 13 Occupational Licenses” [same] Licensing reform generally hasn’t been a partisan battle, but party-line vote in California legislative committee has derailed one promising bill [same] Nebraska gets out in front on the issue with a bill sponsored by libertarian state senator Laura Ebke [Platte Institute] “You Shouldn’t Need a License to Braid Hair” [Ilya Shapiro and Aaron Barnes on Cato amicus brief in Niang v. Tomblinson]
- Alone among states, California requires a “mandatory mediation and conciliation process” for agricultural employers. Arbitrary and open to constitutional challenge [Ilya Shapiro and Reilly Stephens on Cato amicus brief for California Supreme Court certiorari in Gerewan Farming Inc. v. Agricultural Labor Relations Board]
- “Lawsuits that compel sharing economy companies to treat their contractors as full-fledged employees will only forestall the inevitable transition towards a Tomorrow 3.0 economy.” [Pamela Hobart, Libertarianism.org reviewing Michael Munger’s new book “Tomorrow 3.0”] Plaintiffs in California Supreme Court ruling: “Uber Drivers Just Killed All the Parts of the Job They Supposedly Liked the Most” [Coyote]
- Or maybe the gig economy isn’t taking over after all [Ben Casselman, New York Times; Ben Gitis and Will Rinehart, American Action Forum, on new Bureau of Labor Statistics survey finding that prevalence of contingent work has declined, not risen, since 2005]
- “Original Meaning Should Decide Arbitration Act Case on Independent Contractors” [Andrew Grossman and Ilya Shapiro on Cato amicus in Supreme Court case of New Prime v. Oliviera]
- “Disability rates among working-age adults are shaped by race, place, and education” [Martha Ross and Nicole Bateman, Brookings]
- “Allegation: Maplewood, Mo. officials trap low-income motorists in a repeated cycle of arrests and jailing over traffic violations by requiring them to pay fines and bonds irrespective of their ability to pay. A Fourteenth Amendment violation? The district court did not err, says the Eighth Circuit, in allowing the case to proceed.” [John Kenneth Ross, IJ “Short Circuit” on Webb v. City of Maplewood]
- “Does the Excessive Fines Clause Apply to the States? You’d think we’d know that by now — but the Supreme Court hasn’t spoken to this.” [Eugene Volokh]
- “SCOTUS Bingo: The Slaughterhouse Cases” [Sheldon Gilbert on Heritage “SCOTUS 101” podcast with Elizabeth Slattery and Tiffany Bates; Eighth Circuit occupational licensure case]
- Should committing a crime unrelated to guns or violence lead to lifetime forfeiture of gun rights? [Ilya Shapiro and Matt Larosiere on Cato amicus brief in Kanter v. Sessions, Seventh Circuit]
- “A Debt Against the Living: An Introduction to Originalism,” Federalist Society podcast with Michael McConnell and Ilan Wurman discussing Wurman’s new book]
- A new and better Article V? [proposal for an “amendment amendment“]
“The proliferation of state licensing requirements is already bad enough. There’s no need for cities to pile their own mandates on.” Detroit, which requires licenses for at least 60 occupations, is among the worst offenders. [C. Jarrett Dieterle, Governing]
Also in Michigan: “Shampooing Hair And Piloting Commercial Airliners Require Same Number Of Training Hours In Michigan” [Michigan Capitol Confidential]
“The Latest On Occupational Licensing Reform: At the federal level and in the state of Michigan, there have been encouraging moves toward market liberalization.” [Thomas A. Hemphill and Jarrett Skorup, Cato Regulation mag] Related: George Leef, Regulation (reviewing “Bottleneckers” by William Mellor and Dick M. Carpenter II). “Florida Lawmakers Are Fast-Tracking Licensing Reforms” [Boehm] “But sadly Elias Zarate is no closer to being a barber, because he still doesn’t have a high school diploma. And, yes, that matters for some reason.” [same] “Inside the Insane Battle Over Arizona’s Blow-Dry Licensing Bill” [same] “Tennessee has imposed nearly $100K in fines for unlicensed hair braiding since 2009” [Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal] Licensing bars on applicants with criminal histories, often related hardly at all to the risks of crime in licensed occupations, make re-entry of offenders harder [Arthur Rizer and Shoshana Weissmann, The Blaze] A Twitter thread on board certification of music therapists, which are licensed in 10 states [Shoshana Weissmann et al.] Study: “optician licensing appears to be reducing consumer welfare by raising the earnings of opticians without enhancing the quality of services delivered to consumers.” [Edward J Timmons and Anna Mills, Eastern Economic Journal]
- Chicago mayor not the only one pushing this awful idea: New Mexico lawmakers propose requiring high school grads to apply to college or file alternate life plan [Dan Boyd, Albuquerque Journal]
- “New York’s Bid to Control Religious Schools” [Avi Schick, WSJ/Yeshiva World]
- “Couple’s three girls were taken away after Walmart reported innocent bath time photos” [Derek Hawkins, WaPo/The State, Jacob Sullum, Reason]
- Also soliciting public comment: “Education Department delays Obama rule encouraging racial quotas in special ed” [Jerome Woehrle, Liberty Unyielding; Erica L. Green, New York Times; Hans Bader/CEI last fall] “Civil Rights Commission Takes on Issue of Minorities in Special Education” [Christina Samuels, EdWeek] And: “Federal Special Education Law and State School Choice Programs” [Tim Keller and Nat Malkus, Federalist Society]
- New from Cato, edited by George H. Smith and Marilyn Moore: “Critics of State Education: A Reader.”
- “Everybody Hates DC’s Proposal Forcing Daycare Workers to Get College Degrees” [Eric Boehm, Reason, earlier here and here]
- Adam Smith’s famous line about members of the same trade meeting together was a reference to occupational licensure — and Colorado’s unique delicensing of funeral directors in 1983 allows a natural experiment [Brandon Pizzola and Alexander Tabarrok, Cato Research Brief]
- “The Most Bizarre Licenses in Michigan: Potato dealers, foresters, butter graders and more” [Jarrett Skorup, Michigan Capitol Confidential]
- “In Hawaii, it takes an average of 988 days and $438 in fees to become licensed to perform one of many occupations under the thumbs of state regulators.” [J.D. Tuccille, Reason] More: Eric Boehm (“The Five Most Outrageous Licensing Stories of 2017”);
- A licensure infographic [Eric Boehm, Reason, using data from Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty]
- Maryland General Assembly piles absurd new continuing education mandates on licensed cosmetologists [Anastasia Boden, PLF]
- “Bottleneckers: The Origins of Occupational Licensing and What Can Be Done About Its Excesses” [Dick M. Carpenter, Federalist Society]
Even in a nation overwhelmed by well-intentioned but misguided occupational licensing laws, the District of Columbia’s childcare degree requirement has achieved particular notoriety. …
Specifically, the requirement that childcare workers obtain an associate degree in early childhood education or childhood studies (or at least an associate degree that includes 24 semester credit hours in these subjects) is problematic for three main reasons:
1. The requirement disproportionately hurts low-income childcare workers and individuals seeking to become childcare providers….
2. The requirement reduces the ability of out-of-state childcare workers to move to the District of Columbia….
3. The requirement will raise the cost of daycare in the District.
A yet more basic problem is that there are large numbers of persons who would make or are making excellent caregivers, some of whom are experienced parents themselves, whose liberty the D.C. law abridges. In addition to abridging their liberty to offer their services, the law also abridges the liberty of families who would like to engage those services.
Note that in order to engage in paid child care in the District, it wouldn’t do to have a bachelor’s degree or for that matter any number of impressive advanced degrees. There would have to be that concentration of specific coursework. The continued survival of the human race is evidence that children can be raised successfully without credentials of that sort being expected of caregivers.
- Spotted in Senate tax bill: what sounds like an excellent proposal to cut off worker-classification lawsuits [Shu-Yi Oei and Diane M. Ring (who take a very different view of the provision) via Caron/TaxProf]
- Federalist Society convention video on future of federal workplace agencies with Alex Acosta and Nicholas Geale of DoL, Victoria Lipnic of EEOC, Philip Miscimarra of NLRB;
- “‘Mistake’ in Pennsylvania homecare contract would have helped unions in fight over healthcare workers” [Sean Higgins, Washington Examiner; Cato podcast with David Osborne and Caleb O. Brown]
- Automatically worth reading, Claudia Goldin on gender pay gap [New York Times]
- Public sector unions rule in California politics, and pension-spiking is just one of the results [Steven Greenhut] “California Union Bill Looks to Ban Outsourcing Public Services” [same]
- New report from Dana Berliner, Clark Neily al., “Occupational Licensing Run Wild” [Federalist Society Regulatory Transparency Project]
Potentially an important observation [Janna E. Johnson and Morris M. Kleiner, NBER]:
Occupational licensure, one of the most significant labor market regulations in the United States, may restrict the interstate movement of workers. We analyze the interstate migration of 22 licensed occupations. Using an empirical strategy that controls for unobservable characteristics that drive long-distance moves, we find that the between-state migration rate for individuals in occupations with state-specific licensing exam requirements is 36 percent lower relative to members of other occupations. Members of licensed occupations with national licensing exams show no evidence of limited interstate migration. The size of this effect varies across occupations and appears to be tied to the state specificity of licensing requirements. We also provide evidence that the adoption of reciprocity agreements, which lower re-licensure costs, increases the interstate migration rate of lawyers. Based on our results, we estimate that the rise in occupational licensing can explain part of the documented decline in interstate migration and job transitions in the United States.
As reported in April, the state of Oregon fined Mats Järlström of Beaverton $500 for supposedly practicing engineering without a license after he sent a letter to state officials challenging traffic camera practices, including various calculations, and mentioning his background as an electrical engineer. Now the state has admitted that it erred and violated his constitutional rights, and refunded his fine. [Reese Counts, AutoBlog]