2022 Bills

SB 16: More Oversight for Occupational Licensure Laws

This bill passed the House 67-8 and passed the Senate 25-1.

Libertas Institute supports this bill

Staff review of this legislation finds that it aligns with our principles and should therefore be passed into law.

Both workers and consumers are being handicapped by Utah’s occupational licensing laws.
Occupational licenses have escaped scrutiny for far too long. As a result, these laws have become too broad in scope and unclear in their requirements.

Utah’s occupational licensing laws are barring qualified professionals from gaining the necessary license to be able to work in their fields. This is leaving consumers without a workforce to perform necessary jobs.

An additional issue stemming from occupational licensing regulations is the expansion of economic protectionism. Economic protectionism hurts the economy and completely neglects the purpose of occupational licenses — the health and safety of the public.

These consequences illustrate why it is essential to have a group that scrutinizes these laws.
Senate Bill 16, sponsored by Senator Curtis Bramble, will create such a group. This bill will establish the Occupational and Professional Licensure Review Office.

The Occupational and Professional Licensure Review Office will conduct a review for each application that seeks to newly regulate an occupation, review each occupation that requires a license at least once every ten years, and review and respond to legislative inquiries over occupational licensing matters.

The creation of this office will help eliminate unnecessary licenses and work to give power back to the market when deciding if someone is qualified enough for a position. This is exciting as the free market can provide a better indication of competency within a profession than government permission slips.

As an avenue for a more predictable and stable process for licensing reform, this proposed office has an absolutely necessary function.