by Brenée Goforth
Media Manager & Communications Associate, John Locke Foundation
The state of Florida recently passed a revolutionary bill for workers and consumers. As Jon Sanders explains in his most recent research brief:
Reason called it “the most sweeping occupational licensing reform in history.” The Institute for Justice said it “repeals more occupational licensing laws than any licensing reform ever passed by any other state.” And it was a bipartisan bill that passed unanimously in the state Senate and 103-11 in the state House.
This bill reforms Florida’s occupational licensure laws: laws that restrict entry into certain professions without a state-issued license. The bill was overwhelmingly bipartisan and includes many provisions that the John Locke Foundation has been championing for years. Sanders writes:
Florida’s new law has gotten rid of some licenses, including those for interior design, hair braiding, hair wrapping, body wrapping, boxing timekeeping, and boxing announcing…
The law expands reciprocity and license by endorsement for professionals in several fields who are licensed in other states. The licenses of all current and active barbers and cosmetologists licensed in other states are now endorsed in Florida…
It also reduces burdens on several licenses, including lowering education and continuing education requirements for some professions and the training hours for others.
Outside of lowering the burdens of entry into many professions, it also expands the scope of what certain licensed professionals can do. Sanders explains:
Florida now lets licensed individuals offer a large array of hair and nail styling services outside of a licensed salon. As we have argued for NC, this is a sensible reform, especially in the context of COVID-19 and salon closures.
If North Carolina were to implement similar occupational licensing reform, it would lower the barriers to entry for many professions. This would allow North Carolinians – particularly the unemployed and underemployed – the opportunity to seek gainful employment and bolster citizens’ rights to earn an honest living.
Read Sander’s full brief here. Read more about occupational licensing reform in our game plan for reviving North Carolina’s economy, Carolina Rebound.