The Buckeye Institute, a free-market think tank based in Ohio, has identified 30 occupational licenses in the state for which it says the requirements could be reduced or even eliminated entirely.
According to a news release, the Buckeye Institute’s recommendations, presented in the policy brief titled “Opening Doors,” could save Ohioans hundreds or even thousands of dollars and eliminate hours of training requirements.
The institute presented its findings in a brief to the Ohio State and Local Government Committee, which will be the first committee to review certain occupational licensing boards in accordance with Senate Bill 255, which was signed into law about a year ago. The bill would require that the Legislature review every occupational licensing board over a period of six years; lawmakers would then choose to renew the board, call for changes to the board or eliminate the board.
"Too often in Ohio, a seemingly arbitrary system of occupational licensing stands between Ohioans and their chosen careers," Andrew Kidd, an economist at The Buckeye Institute and co-author of the policy brief, said in the news release. "To aid the legislature's review, The Buckeye Institute examined the same licenses currently being reviewed by the Ohio House, and identified 30 licenses that can be eliminated or reformed. By adopting these changes policymakers will make Ohio a more attractive place to live and start a business."
For 16 licenses, The Buckeye Institute found that current regulations and private certifications already establish competency requirements for the profession and that the licensing laws are redundant, just making extra work for potential workers. Among these include dietitians, high school head coach, certified engineer, cosmetic therapist and acupuncturist.
In the case of the certified engineer license, the policy brief notes that "The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has never promulgated rules for this certification, has never established fees or education requirements, and sees no reason for licensing this profession."
For 14 other licenses, The Buckeye Institute recommended a reduction in training requirements to bring Ohio in line with the requirements in other states. These licenses include plumbing and HVAC contractors, massage therapists and physicians assistants, among other jobs.
"Ohio should reduce its $500 fee to register as an athlete agent," the policy brief says in the case of another license it proposes to reform. "New York only charges a $100 registration fee. The Ohio Athletic Commission has not justified the need or reason for such a high registration fee. Without a proper justification, the fee should be reduced commensurate with other states that charge such a fee."