Occupational licenses, affectionately known as government permission slips, are a common source of frustration for many Utahns.
It is not uncommon to know someone, maybe even a family member, who is qualified enough to perform a certain job but is unable to do so because of suffocating government restrictions.
Just consider this hypothetical: your brother is a talented barber, and he has been cutting hair for years, yours included. Your brother is a responsible person, and people keep coming back to him to get their hair cut as he does an exceptional job.
In Utah, despite your brother clearly being a talented barber, he would be unable to find work at a barbershop due to occupational licenses.
This wholly plausible hypothetical illustrates how these laws that were originally intended to protect consumers and businesses are actually harming the economy and reducing choice for consumers.
Luckily, Utahns can expect to see some of Utah’s most egregious occupational licenses taken off the books in the upcoming years.
Senate Bill 16, sponsored by Senator Curtis Bramble, passed the state Legislature during the 2022 legislative session and will become an avenue to make sure that poor occupational licenses do not remain in effect.
This bill will create the Occupational and Professional Licensure Review Office. This office will work to ensure that unnecessary occupational licenses are not put on the books and that existing occupational licenses are reviewed.
As an avenue for a more predictable and stable process for licensing reform, this office has an absolutely necessary function.
We commend Senator Bramble for championing occupational licensure reform, like Senate Bill 16, across the state.