SB 589

85(R) - 2017
Senate Business & Commerce
House Public Health
Senate Business & Commerce
House Public Health
Occupational Licensing

Vote Recommendation

  • Negative
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Negative
  • Neutral


Eddie Lucio Jr.


Ron Simmons

Bill Caption

Relating to the licensing and regulation of behavior analysts and assistant behavior analysts; requiring an occupational license; imposing fees.

Fiscal Notes

From the LBB: a positive impact of $98,202 through the biennium ending August 31, 2019.

The bill would make no appropriation but could provide the legal basis for an appropriation of funds to implement the provisions of the bill.

Bill Analysis

SB 589 would amend the Occupations Code adding a new subchapter to create the Texas Board of Behavior Analyst Examiners consisting of nine members appointed by the Commission of Licensing and Regulation. The Department of Licensing and Regulation would administer a license program for behavior analysts and assistant behavior analysts and collect fees for administrative costs. An applicant would have to undergo a state criminal background check, meet certain educational requirements, and pass an examination proscribed by the professional board. The board would be required to issue a license to a person who holds a license from another state.

Vote Recommendation Notes

SB 589 violates our free market and limited government principles by placing occupational license requirements on behavior analyst examiners which infringes on their right to earn a living in their chosen field without first obtaining a permission slip from the government to go to work. For this reason we oppose this legislation. Texas needs fewer, not more, occupational licensure requirements. 

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 incredible 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.