HB 331: Occupational Licensure Reciprocity

This Bill passed the House 67-0, but did not reach a vote in the Senate.

Libertas Institute supports this bill.

We believe that Utahns have the right to work and engage in their occupation free from government mandates to obtain a permission slip from bureaucrats. Too often, industries seek to create barriers to entry for new practitioners using government regulation via increased occupational licensing requirements.

In a past study, Utah was cited as the 12th most onerously licensed state in the nation. This circumstance harms free enterprise in our state. House Bill 331, sponsored by Representative Norm Thurston, focuses on one important aspect of reducing licensing: reciprocity with licensing from other states.

While we are opposed to licensing in general and oppose barriers to entry, we see reciprocity as a common sense way to reduce existing licensure burdens by providing an opportunity for individuals that move to Utah to obtain a license here without having to duplicate the efforts they have already made in another state to qualify for a similar license.

It is time for Utah to reform its occupational licensure regulations—not just in order to preserve free enterprise, but also to avoid legal liability. Last year we wrote about a Supreme Court ruling that calls into question the actions of licensure boards that restrict competitive markets. In light of this ruling, it is imperative that the legislature continue to look at ways to severely reduce the unnecessary burdens of occupational licensure.