August 31, 2007
This week the Wall Street Journal ran an editorial titled License to Kill Jobs. The author, John Fund, bemoaned the vast amount of state regulation of professionals that is designed not to protect the public but to stifle competition.
He cited a recent study by Reason Foundation analyst Adam Summers that examined state regulation of professionals. The study is entitled Occupational Licensing: Ranking the States and Exploring Alternatives. You can see a copy here: http://www.reason.org/ps361.pdf.
In the study, Summers highlights some of the most outrageous licensing laws, including rainmakers, quilted clothing manufacturers and chimney sweeps, and he ranks the states by number of licensed job categories. Florida regulates 104 different categories of professionals—well above the national average of 92.
Summers also points out some of the consequences of overregulation of professionals. According to Summers, “While occupational licensing laws are billed as a means of protecting the public from negligent, unqualified or otherwise substandard practitioners, in reality, they are simply a means of utilizing government regulation to serve narrow economic interests.”
He reports that by restricting competition, licensing can decrease the rate of job growth by 20 percent and cites statistics that suggest that the total cost of licensing regulations ranges from $34.8 to $41.7 billion per year.
Summers’ solution? Total abolition of occupational licensing laws and a shift to private sector alternatives such as voluntary certification.Because he recognizes that policy option may not be feasible, he also proposes regular reviews of licensing standards.
At DBPR, we are working to decrease our regulatory burden on Florida’s professionals. To that end, we are reviewing our rules and forms to make sure they only require what is necessary to protect the public and that they are clear and straightforward. We are initiating rulemaking to reduce fees wherever possible. And we are working on a legislative agenda that proposes limiting regulation that is not in the public’s best interest.
Our mission is to license efficiently, regulate fairly, and in many instances, reducing regulation is the fairest thing to do
Department of Business and
1940 North Monroe Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
Customer Contact Center:
Here is a schedule of next week’s professional
board meetings. For full meeting details, we’ve included a link
below to the
department’s online calendar.
September 6-7, 2007
BOARD OF ACCOUNTANCY
DBPR officially launched a new website this week that improves navigation and accessibility as part of the Department's continuing effort to provide better customer service and communicate more effectively with citizens.
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