by Jon Sanders
Research Editor and Senior Fellow, Regulatory Studies, John Locke Foundation
In Ohio, Gov. John Kasich signed a bill requiring the state legislature to review all licensing boards at least once every six years to ensure there is a continued public need for the licensing rules. The legislature will also be tasked with determining whether one-size-fits-all licenses are “the least restrictive form” of regulation for specific professions. If it determines that the answer is “no,” the boards can be shuttered. Finally, the legislature will have to determine if a board’s actions have inhibited economic growth, reduced efficiency, or increased the cost of government. … The bill also opens the door for Ohioans with criminal records to obtain licenses in some fields. …
In Idaho, the first executive order issued by newly elected Gov. Brad Little will impose a mandatory periodic review of the state’s occupational licensing boards by the state legislature, similar to the reform in Ohio. In his first “state of the state” address, Little promised to put regulatory and licensing reform at the top of his agenda.
As research has found and North Carolina has shown, sunset provisions with periodic review are effective ways of reducing unnecessary regulations.