In the 40 years ending in 2015, there were only eight minor instances of de-licensing in the states. That’s the year when the Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling against North Carolina’s dental licensing board and removed all occupational licensing boards’ expectation of automatic antitrust immunity.
Since then, there have been 11, and most of them have been major, systematic restructurings. With Gov. Susana Martinez’s October 3 Executive Order, New Mexico has now solidly joined the de-licensing revolution.
Martinez’s EO contains the following provisions, which should all sound familiar to JLF readers.
Section 1(a) grants full reciprocity to licensing in New Mexico for licensees moving in from other states. Section 1(b) goes further, letting professional experience count toward a New Mexico license if the practitioner moves in from a state that doesn’t impose a license on that profession.
Section 1(c) incorporates Occupational Licensing Consumer Choice reform. Under its provisions, a service professional in a field licensed within the state would retain the right to earn a living even without an occupational license by providing consumers with a non-license disclosure prior to agreeing to do work. Consumers could then knowingly choose someone whose professional credentials in a state-licensed profession would include other things, including another state’s license, but not a state license.
Section 2 drastically reduces the burdens to getting a license. Highlights include:
- lowering fees are to 75 percent or less of the national average of fees required by other states, or (in some cases) to be no more than $50
- cutting education and experience requirements are to be reduced to the “lowest level allowed by statute”
- waiving initial licensing and testing fees for poor license-seekers and for National Guardsmen and members of the Armed Forces
- allowing online classes to lessen the travel burden of continuing education requirements
Section 3 would prevent license-seekers from being disqualified for a conviction record unless the crime “pertain[s] directly to the practice of the occupation or the applicant’s capacity to perform the duties of the occupation.”
These are great ideas for North Carolina, too
We at JLF have been tirelessly promoting these ideas for North Carolina. We have discussed the problems of burdensome licensing requirements in many ways and how to fix them:
- how licensing’s costs tend to be more harmful on lower-income workers
- how licensing tends to harm entrepreneurship in poor neighborhoods where it is doubly important
- how it thwarts people with conviction records trying to put their lives back in order
- how it harms military spouses
- how it makes it harder for people to move to North Carolina and set up shop
It’s good to see these ideas taking root in so many states. It’s frustrating to see North Carolina sit idly by, doing nothing.
One day, North Carolina. One day.