House Hearing Explores Occupational Licensing
Lawmakers acknowledged the issue should be left primarily to the states to determine
Just weeks after legislatures in two states passed measures addressing occupational licensing and the use of professional credentials, the issue arrived on Capitol Hill Wednesday, with members of a House subcommittee hearing testimony on licensing and its effects on economic growth. Lawmakers acknowledged the issue should be left primarily to the states to determine whether over-regulation is creating barriers to employment.
“Occupational licensing plays an important role in protecting consumers and ensuring high-quality service,” said Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY), who chairs the House Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development. “In many cases, it makes sense that a professional would be credentialed to operate, like in the case of a doctor performing surgery or a pilot flying a commercial plane. But in other instances, the need for a license is more of a stretch.”
Albert Downs, a policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures, said the number of licensed professionals in the U.S. has ballooned to one in four workers.
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