August 21, 2019

Layers and layers of government red tape make it more difficult for many Americans to pursue their careers—but it doesn’t have to be this way.

The Institute for Justice has released a new video—part of its “License to Work” series—that outlines several alternatives to licensing that provide the quality and accountability consumers seek, while protecting workers’ right to earn a living. From market competition to regulatory alternatives like inspections, voluntary private certification, and bonding or insurance, there exists “a whole menu of alternatives to licensing” that keep customers safe and protect economic liberty. (You can watch the full video above.)

As the IJ video explains, “licensing is the most restrictive form of occupational regulation.” Indeed, it takes a lot of time and money to get a license, so why should people have to do it over and over as they move from state to state? States should adopt universal recognition of out-of-state licenses, so that people who move to a new state don’t have to go through onerous training and financial requirements just to be able to do their job in their new home state. Arizona became the first state to pass a law recognizing out-of-state licenses earlier this year, but all states should have such laws on the books.

At the Goldwater Institute, we’re encouraging states to take action and pass the Breaking Down Barriers to Work Act. This Act makes it easier for Americans to continue to work by ensuring their professional licenses are universally recognized when they move to a new state. Instead of asking licensed professionals to jump through expensive, time-consuming, and redundant hoops, this law directs state government to issue licenses to new residents who apply for a license and meet simple, commonsense criteria. By breaking down barriers to work, licensed professionals, members of the military, veterans, and their family members will be free to pursue their American dream.

Read more about this Goldwater proposal on our new fact sheet here.

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