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Estimated Two-year Net Impact to General Revenue Related Funds for SB 1185, Committee Report 1st House, Substituted: a negative impact of ($2,680,748) through the biennium ending August 31, 2017.
The bill would make no appropriation but could provide the legal basis for an appropriation of funds to implement the provisions of the bill.
SB 1185 would require the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) to conduct a biennial study—subject to the availability of appropriated money—that would report on the extent that occupational licensing effects unemployment in Texas. This report would also need to study the overall effects of a particular occupational licensing on the state.
Each license would need to be studied at least once every 10 years. Finally, the report would have to be made available to the public and copies would need to be sent to the governor, the lieutenant governor, the speaker of the house, and each standing committee of the senate and house that has jurisdiction over this matter.
It is often said that in order to solve a problem you must understand the problem. SB 1185 would provide policy makers and the public an understanding of the effects of occupational licensing.
Of the 150 or so occupational licenses that are issued by the state, well over a majority of those licenses should be repealed. Occupational licensing is often well-intentioned and has been implemented in the name of safety, however, the unintended consequence of this approach has been to create significant barriers to entry for people seeking to go into licensed fields.
Additionally, it is questionable at best whether these supposed safety concerns justify the licensing in the first place. In many if not most cases, occupational licensing has nothing to do with health and safety and merely serves to protect the vested interests of current businesses from unwanted competition in the marketplace.
From teeth whiteners to hair braiders to interior designers and beyond there is a vast swath of trades and professions in Texas which require state approval for a person to work in. This is not the proper role of the state. To the extent that this bill will help to examine these issues and shed light on the liberty-infringing aspects of occupational licensure, SB 1185 is an excellent bill which we recommend to the legislature with our strongest endorsement.
We support SB 1185 because it would agree with all five of our liberty principles.