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Kentucky Bill Fights For Occupational Licensing Reform

Kentucky is one of many states that are attempting to counteract negative impacts of over regulated occupational licensing procedures using legislation at the state level. Ohio, Wisconsin, and Michigan are also considering bills that would limit occupational licensing.

Certain states are more burdensome than others; Arizona has the most extensive licensing regulations in the country with California coming in at 2nd and Oregon coming in 3rd. “California is one of only a few states that license tree trimmers (seven states), landscape workers (ten), dietetic technicians (three), psychiatric aides (two), still machine setters (two), funeral attendants (nine), dental assistants (seven) and farm labor contractors (nine).” Government involvement via licensing is extensive.

To determine whether a regulation is considered overbearing or not one must consider the negative harm that certain professionals could cause clients. Professionals in medicine and law, for example, are necessarily licensed because they require a certain level of knowledge and are crucially important to the client’s well being.

Unnecessary regulation happens when the government is costing citizens money at the benefit of no one. The licenses themselves cost money not to mention the wages that are lost due to long hours spent training to be qualified to trim trees or be the aid to a psychiatrist. Neither job requires specialized skills or knowledge.

A legislator in Kentucky has prefiled a bill that distinguishes between necessary regulations and unnecessary regulations The bill states: “On and after November 15, 2018, all occupational licensing regulations 19 established by an agency shall be: 20 (a) Limited to those essential to fulfilling the statutory requirements for entry into a market, business, occupation, or profession; (b) Devoid of unnecessary burdens or restrictions on a person seeking entry into a market, business, occupation, or profession; and (c) Carefully tailored to ensure the legitimate health, safety, and welfare of the public.”

This legislation gets to the heart of the over regulation problem by making sure that required licenses are essential to the safety of the public and do not place an unnecessary burden on anyone. The bill focuses on new regulations as well as paving a way to go back and look at old licensing processes to make sure that everything is up to the bill’s standard.

Passing this bill would be a major win for the people of Kentucky. Unnecessary licensing requirements do not benefit the people and the requirements come at the cost of economic freedom and prosperity. Kentucky legislators, and the other states considering occupational licensing reform, should pass these bills as soon as possible for less government involvement and to create more opportunities