WILL Press Release | WILL Applauds Introduction of Occupational Licensing Reform Legislation

May 17, 2017 — Milwaukee, WI – The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty applauds the introduction of a new occupational licensing reform bill in the Wisconsin legislature. The bill is a step in the right direction towards giving more Wisconsinites the freedom to earn a living.

Today, Senators Chris Kapenga and Alberta Darling, along with Representatives Rob Hutton and Dale Kooyenga, introduced a bill to create an Occupational License Review Council to study licenses and their requirements and submit recommendations for reform by December 2018. The Council’s recommendations will be turned into a bill and sent to the appropriate legislative committees, where the legislature has until June 2019 to take action. In addition, this bill creates a process at the Department of Administration for the preparation of a “sunrise” report on any new license proposal to determine whether a license is necessary to protect the health, safety, or welfare of the public.

“These legislators deserve great credit for their efforts to expand opportunity through occupational licensing reform, “said Research Fellow Collin Roth. “These reforms ought to serve as an important correction to the decades-long growth of occupational licensing, red tape, and barriers to entry.”

Previous WILL research found that Wisconsin’s licensing laws have resulted in less employment in low and middle income jobs, such as cosmetology, massage therapy, and  manicurists, among others. And the problem has been getting exponentially worse. Since 1996, the number of licenses in Wisconsin have grown by 84% and affected more than 440,000 workers.

The Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) currently regulates around 240 different licenses.



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