Tennesseans Have the Right to Earn a Living

Date: May 17, 2016 Last Edit: May 18, 2016

NFIB leads fight against over-licensing.

Tennesseans Have Right to Earn a Living

The Right to Earn a Living Act (SB 2469/HB
2201), sponsored by NFIB members by Sen. Mark Green (Clarksville) and Rep.
Martin Daniel (Knoxville), passed the General Assembly late in the legislative
session and was signed by Gov. Bill Haslam late in April. For workers and
entrepreneurs across the state, this is very good news.

 Tennessee was rated the 13th most broadly and onerously
licensed state in the Institute for Justice’s 2012 study, License to Work. For 53 of the 102 low- to middle-income occupations studied, the
average fee is $218 with an average 222 days of education.

 Under the Right to Earn a Living Act, however,
entry/licensing regulations will be subject to increased legislative and executive
oversight. Government operations committees will require periodic reviews of
entry regulations for all occupations by boards and committees, beginning later
this year. The executive branch can also request review of specified entry

 In particular, the oversight introduced by the
new law will ensure that such regulations are:

  • Required by state or federal law
  • Necessary to protect the public
    health, safety, or welfare
  • Necessary to protect the public
    against fraud or economic harm
  • Not unnecessarily inhibiting
    competition or arbitrarily denying entry into a market, business, trade
    profession, or occupation

NFIB/Tennessee will continue to advocate for
reining in burdensome licensing regulations. In addition to supporting the
Right to Earn a Living Act, we helped defeat or delay numerous other licensing bills attempted this year.

Related Content: Small Business News | Labor | Legal | Tennessee

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