Gov. Abbott Calls for Occupational-Licensing Rules Reform

Date: December 03, 2019

State agencies had until Dec. 1 to share plans to trim licensing regulations, reduce fees and educational requirements for certain professions, and remove licensing barriers for individuals with criminal records.

On Oct. 8, Gov. Greg Abbott penned a letter to the heads of state agencies calling for a full review and reform of licensing regulations. In the letter, Gov. Abbott ordered state agencies to overhaul and trim licensing requirements and regulations, reduce fees and educational requirements for certain professions, and remove licensing barriers for individuals with criminal records.

State agencies were to report their findings regarding what administrative actions to take in pursuing the Governor’s pro-business objectives by Dec. 1.

“Reforming Texas’s occupational-licensing rules must be a priority for all state leaders,” Abbott wrote in the letter, which was obtained and published by The Texas Tribune. “Sensible licensing rules, when necessary, can protect the public from legitimate harm, but overbroad rules stymie innovation, raise consumer prices, and limit economic opportunity. Overly burdensome licensing rules also discourage individuals from pursuing professions or prevent the unemployed—or former inmates who have paid their debt to society—from building a better life.”

Removing barriers to obtaining occupational licensing by reducing overburdensome regulations and fees has been a priority for NFIB for many years. “NFIB members perennially site ‘locating qualified workers’ as one of their top ten problems and priorities,” said NFIB’ Texas State Director Annie Spilman, “so opening up the workforce by giving a second chance to qualified workers will go a long way in relieving the small business community.”

Related Content: News | Economy | Labor | Regulations | Texas

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