Article from Reason by Eric Boehm.

Two Republican governors got the new year off to a productive start by striking a small blow against their states’ occupational licensing boards.

In Ohio, Gov. John Kasich signed a bill requiring the state legislature to review all licensing boards at least once every six years to ensure there is a continued public need for the licensing rules. The legislature will also be tasked with determining whether one-size-fits-all licenses are “the least restrictive form” of regulation for specific professions. If it determines that the answer is “no,” the boards can be shuttered. Finally, the legislature will have to determine if a board’s actions have inhibited economic growth, reduced efficiency, or increased the cost of government.

“Occupational licensing should only be a policy of last resort,” says Lee McGrath, legislative counsel for the Institute for Justice, a libertarian law firm. A 2018 analysis published by McGrath’s group calculates that licensing laws cost Ohio 68,000 jobs and $6 billion in economic activity annually. “This licensing reform has the potential to create more economic opportunity and save Ohioans billions of dollars,” McGrath says.

The bill also opens the door for Ohioans with criminal records to obtain licenses in some fields. More than a million residents of the state have a criminal record of some sort, and about 25 percent of all Ohio jobs were off-limits to those individuals solely because of their records, according to a recent report from Policy Matters Ohio, a left-leaning think tank.

Read the entire article at Reason.

Image Credit: By Cellofellow (Gadsden_flag.svg) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons