Labor market report takes aim at occupational licensing: Weekly regulatory news
The U.S Department of Treasury suggests occupational licensing measures are restricting the workforce in our weekly look at regulatory news.

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State of the labor market report takes aim at occupational licensing

The U.S. Department of the Treasury released a report on the state of the labor market that questioned the value and need for occupational licensing. While explaining that licensing benefits some workers and the public, it suggests regulations can increase the frictions in a job search. “Occupational licensing is a notable example, and one that is growing more common over time,” it states. “These frictions are growing in several ways: the number of occupations covered by licensing; the requirements, costs, and complexity of securing a license; and the patchwork of licenses across states.” The report calls for greater support for occupational licensing reform at the state level. Read more at the New York Times

Alabama signs bills supporting military families

Alabama’s Governor signed six bills designed to make it easier for military families to move and work across state lines. The bills ease the process military families go through when they relocate to the state, allowing their children to enroll in local schools remotely, for example. Critically, the bills make it easier for military families to get work after arriving in Alabama, with much greater flexibility in occupational licensing for military spouses in particular. Read more at Alabama Political Reporter.

Iowa House votes to establish state licensure for midwifery

Iowa’s House passed a bill that, if approved by the Senate, will make it the 38th state to license the practice of midwifery. Only about a dozen midwives currently work in the state, which ranks 49th in the U.S. in the ratio of maternity care providers to women. According to a midwifery advocacy group, this marks the first time a midwife licensure bill has passed out of one of the chambers, despite two decades of persistent advocacy. Read more at Radio Iowa.

Illinois lawmakers present bill to speed up occupational licensing processes

Illinois is considering a measure that would expedite the process of getting and renewing occupational licenses. Under the new proposal, the state’s Department of Financial and Professional Regulation would have to process applications in under four weeks. Illinois State Senator Suzy Glowiak Hilton said she introduced this measure in response to a high volume of complaints over the time it took the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to process licenses. “While many industries struggle to maintain an adequate number of staff members, workers in health care accountancy, Speech Pathology, cosmetology and various other fields were waiting months to receive their proper credentials to be in work,” she explained in a press conference last week. Read more at WQAD.

New Mexico Governor signs legislation to reform and expedite professional licensure

New Mexico’s Governor signed House Bill 191 into law, concluding a statewide effort to reform and streamline business regulations, permitting and licensing. The bill attempts to remove licensure barriers that are unrelated to a given profession. It also expedites licensure for nurses in the state, amends the grounds for refusing a license, removes some education requirements for certain professions, and allows licensed professionals with a good standing in other states to easily start working after a move. Read the Governor’s office release.

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Paul Leavoy
Written byPaul Leavoy
Paul Leavoy is Editor of Ascend Magazine and writes on occupational licensing, regulation, digital government, and public policy.


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Ascend Magazine lives at the nexus of regulation, licensing, public policy, and digital government. We share news, insight, and exclusive commentary from leaders in regulation and technology.