House Bill 289 Introduced, Buckeye Weighs-In on the Need for Occupational Licensing Reform

Jun 26, 2017

Columbus, OH – Representative Robert McColley and Representative Ron Hood today introduced important legislation, which will reduce barriers to employment for thousands of Ohioans by requiring the state to impose the least restrictive type of occupational licensing regulation to ensure consumer protection.

The legislation will also establish a sunrise review process on new occupational licensing bills to ensure they meet the least restrictive standard, and the bill will establish a sunset review process of licensing boards to ensure they are necessary protect public health and safety. Over time, the use of these reviews will help clean up antiquated licensing requirements while preventing new ones from cluttering Ohio’s laws. 

“As legislators, it is our duty to be watchdogs over these licensing agencies to ensure they are not imposing overly burdensome regulations that impose barriers to entry and, ultimately, pick winners and losers. House Bill 289 does just that by providing oversight to make sure we are not unjustifiably preventing Ohioans from making a living,” said Rep. McColley. “We thank The Buckeye Institute and other free-market focused groups for their ongoing input.”

The Buckeye Institute has long spoken out on the need to reduce burdens created by bureaucratic occupational licensing, a position that is supported by the Heritage Foundation, Cato Institute, and Brookings Institute, and was supported by the Obama Administration. In fact, research has shown that Ohio sacrifices more than 40,000 jobs due to occupational licensing, and that 18 percent of Ohioans require a license in order to earn a living in their chosen profession. Further, the cost of hiring a licensed worker is approximately 15 percent higher than an unlicensed worker with the same level of experience doing the same job, and families in Ohio could save $775 per year with occupational licensing reform.

“The Buckeye Institute has long argued that we need to lower barriers of entry for all Ohioans into their chosen professions,” said Greg R. Lawson, research fellow at The Buckeye Institute. “By making it the policy of the state to be the least restrictive as possible when it comes to occupational licensing, Ohio takes a large step to rolling back and preventing the ‘permission slip’ approach to regulation that is harming all too many Ohio workers.”

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