by Jon Sanders
Research Editor and Senior Fellow, Regulatory Studies, John Locke Foundation
The Center Square reports on legislation advancing in Florida:
The three-year Florida “deregathon” continues during the 2021 legislative session with companion Senate-House bills preempting local governments from regulating journeyman trades licenses on the cusp of adoption. …
Florida lawmakers in their 2020 session adopted the 94-page Occupational Freedom & Opportunity Act, which trimmed state and local licensing requirements and fees for more than 440,000 people working in a wide range of businesses.
SB 268/HB 735 “prohibits local governments from requiring a license for a person whose job scope does not substantially correspond to that of a contractor or journeyman type licensed” by the state’s Construction Industry Licensing Board and the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation (DBPR).
Under SB 268/HB 735, local governments could not require a license for painting, flooring, cabinetry, interior remodeling, driveway or tennis court installation, decorative stone, tile, marble, granite, or terrazzo installation, plastering, stuccoing, caulking, and canvas awning or ornamental iron installation.
The Institute for Justice explains why it’s a good idea:
For instance, should the bill become law, cities could no longer create new local occupational licenses for handyman services. For most of the listed occupations, any existing local licensing requirements must expire by July 1, 2023.
“Many Floridians struggle to legally offer their services because of a patchwork of local occupational licenses, each with their own costs and requirements,” said IJ Florida Office Managing Attorney Justin Pearson. “Offering simple handyman services could be legal on one side of a street and illegal on the other. But if an occupation is safe in one town, it does not suddenly become dangerous the next town over.”
North Carolina sorely needs such boldness.