Occupational licensing may get easier

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FROM THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

TALLAHASSEE – Gov. Ron DeSantis during the 2020 legislative session will continue to push lawmakers to simplify occupational licensing requirements for jobs such as interior designers, barbers and hair braiders. 

Arguing that licensing regulations in Florida are “way more onerous and way more burdensome” than in California and New York, DeSantis said Tuesday during an appearance in Miami that he will present lawmakers with proposals that would eliminate or reduce training hours required for some occupations, prevent the Department of Business and Professional Regulation from denying licenses because people defaulted or were late on student loans and allow certain license holders in other states to be immediately qualified in Florida. 

Statewide approval 

DeSantis said he also wants the department to craft legislation to allow people licensed by counties to work in other Florida counties without having to file paperwork, pass exams or pay additional fees. 

“Many of these licensure requirements have no relevant impact on public health and safety,” DeSantis said. “Rather, they hurt Floridians by restricting employment opportunities, raising the prices of goods and services, and inhibiting consumer choice. At the end of the day there is a role to have occupational licensing, but that occupational licensing should be designed to protect the public safety, consumers. It should not be used to create a guild that keeps people out and prevents them from realizing their dreams.” 

The House approved a bill during the 2019 session that advanced some of DeSantis’ occupational licensing proposals, but the measure did not pass the Senate.

In his inaugural address in January, DeSantis highlighted that a focus of Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary Halsey Beshears would be to identify occupational licensing requirements that need to be “streamlined, rolled back or eliminated.” 

The 2020 session will begin Jan. 14.

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