There Ought Not be a Law
This bill is the winner of our There Ought Not be a Law competition.
Senate Bill 247 repeals and reduces unnecessary occupational licensing laws for several professions, allowing people to make a living without having to ask permission from the government to do so.
Letters of Support:
- Advance Arkansas Institute (pdf)
- Cato Institute (pdf)
- Foundation for Government Accountability (pdf)
- Mackinac Center For Public Policy (docx)
- Orange County Business Council (pdf)
- Pacific Legal Foundation (pdf)
Occupational licensing laws exist, in theory, to protect the public by requiring certain professions obtain a government license before legally working in California. However, many current licensing laws do little to protect the public and are an artificial barrier for middle class jobs.
Many licensed professions must pay hundreds of dollars in fees and thousands in government-approved school tuition before they can operate legally in the state. Many aspiring entrepreneurs simply cannot afford those costs, so they are forced to abandon their dreams and work in less fulfilling and profitable careers. We need to encourage small business and entrepreneurship, not stifle it with onerous and burdensome laws that do little—if anything—to protect the public.
- Occupational Licensing: Ranking the States and Exploring Alternatives
- Jobs for Californians: Strategies to Ease Occupational Licensing Barriers, Little Hoover Commission, Oct. 2016
- Occupational Licensing: A Framework for Policymakers, White House, July 2015
- Eliminate licensing laws to boost economic opportunity, OC Register, Adam B Summer, April 27 2017
- California Democrats Kill Licensing Reform, Steven Greenhut, Reason, 05.12.17
- Yellow-Light Crusader Fined for Doing Math Without a License, Patricia Cohen, 4-30-2017, NY Times
- FTC Sets Its Fights On Occupational Licensing, Jared Meyer, Forbes, 04.14.17
- To Help Ex-Offenders Get Jobs, Some States Reconsider Licenses, Sophie Quinton, Pew, 03.08.17
- Occupational Licensing Reform Gains an Unlikely Boost from the FTC, J. D. Tuccille, Reason, 03.28.17
- License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing, Institute for Justice, 04.24.12
- Short-Sighted Policy: Studying Opticians Shows Occupational Licensing Doesn't Help Consumers, U. S. News and Review, Edward Timmons and Anna Mills, 02.17.15
- This Mississippi Bill Could Be the Beginning of the End of Occupational Licensing Cartels, Eric Boehm, Reason, 03.31.17
- Why Occupational Licensing is a Due Process Issue, Eric Boehm, Reason, 03.15.17
- Reduce glut of occupational licensing laws, OC Register, June 29 2017
- Released From Prison but Locked Out of Work, Eric Boehm, Reason, 07.10.17