by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
If 2018 was the year of occupational licensing reform, 2019 just might be the year of local licensing preemption.
That’s good news, given the success states like Nebraska and Missouri had over the past year in passing sweeping reforms to push back against licensing’s creep into more workers’ lives. Now, lawmakers are turning their attention to another problem that’s a little closer to home — local occupational licensing.
Too often, local governments follow in the footsteps of state governments and create unnecessary requirements and fees to work in licensed occupations, resulting in double the fees and the requirements, just to be able to work. …
… These excessive fees are enough to discourage work. This is especially true for service industry jobs where workers take on clients in multiple cities across a state and are then faced with an additional fee in each city.
Local licensing is also a problem because of politics: The more successful states are in beating back pro-licensing special interest groups, the more these groups will simply move their focus to the local level.
To fix this problem, state legislators can pass local occupational licensing preemption.