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We oppose sunset bills which add new, onerous requirements to licensed professions (such as mandatory fingerprinting and background checks) without at a minimum offsetting the new requirements with counterbalancing repeal of other requirements. Some ways to provide a counterbalance include significant reduction or revocation of fees, reduction in required continuing education, reduction of the number of hours of required training to obtain a license, or increasing the length of time a license is valid before it must be renewed.
SB 302 adds new requirements for members of the state bar to submit to fingerprinting and background checks. There are no counterbalancing provisions in the bill to repeal or significantly reduce other licensure requirements, therefore for we oppose SB 302 as a net growth in government mandates on members of the state bar.
For a fuller exposition of our views regarding occupational licensure, click here.
For further reading on this issue we recommend a couple excellent resources:
The Institute for Justice has done yeoman’s work in researching the pervasiveness of the licensing problem. Their 2012 national study, License To Work, which gives an in-depth report on the status of licensure in every state, should be required reading for policymakers working on licensure issues.
Guild-Ridden Labor Markets: The Curious Case of Occupational Licensing by Morris M. Kleiner, which describes in easily readable language the history of occupational licensing in the United States, demonstrates the clear connection between licensure and industry protection.