2015 Bills

HB235: Reducing the Burden of Occupational Licensure

This bill passed out of committee but was not considered by the House of Representatives.

Libertas Institute supports this bill.

We believe in the right of an individual to engage in an occupation free from government restriction or a mandate to first 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. Some licensing requirements include arbitrary waiting times or requisite years of experience before a license is issued despite whether an individual can demonstrate actual competency in the field.

House Bill 235, sponsored by Representative Norman Thurston, aims to reduce these barriers to entry from waiting times by giving prospective licensees the opportunity to demonstrate skills competency in their field in lieu of a waiting time. Under the bill, the Utah Department of Occupational Licensure would offer alternative testing for license applicants who wish to demonstrate skills competency. While we are opposed to licensing in general and oppose increased barriers to entry, we see this bill as a common sense way to reduce existing licensure burdens and provide more opportunity for individuals to obtain requisite licenses.

A recent nationwide study found Utah to be the 12th most onerously licensed state in the nation. This is a metric that harms free enterprise in our state and the liberty of Utahns to engage in an occupation of their choice. Utah should continue to find ways to reduce the burden of licensure. HB 235 is a good step in that direction.