Welcome to Florida by DonkeyHotey is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Florida continues to be a leader on conservative, free market policy, but going into the short 2024 session the state remained behind in one major policy area: occupational licensing.

While Florida has passed great occupational licensing reforms, like recognizing out-of-state licenses of military spouses, the state ranked middle-of-the-pack on licensing burdens. 

That changed this session with the passage of universal occupational license recognition (SB 1600) thanks to the leadership of sponsor Sen. Jay Collins. 

The bill will make it easier for workers moving into the state to practice their profession as the state will recognize out-of-state occupational licenses in good standing. This is a significant step forward in removing the barriers that professionals from other states face when seeking to offer their services in Florida.

To keep pace with Florida’s nation-leading influx of residents and business, there’s an urgent need for skilled professionals, particularly in the healthcare sector. “As Florida continues to grow, the need for seasoned and experienced health care providers, and workers in many other growing industries, is abundantly clear,” said Senator Jay Collins regarding the necessity for the bill. 

A major session priority of Senate President Kathleen Passidomo was boosting Florida’s healthcare sector, part of the challenge the state faces is a need for more practitioners. 

Health care professions will be able contribute to the state’s economy without the need for additional testing or fees. It’s a win-win for professionals who can seamlessly transition to working in Florida, and residents who will benefit from an expanded pool of skilled workers and improved access to healthcare. 

Florida has been a leading state in containing the growth of spending under the rate of inflation and population growth, according to Americans for Tax Reform’s Sustainable Budget Project. The state’s legislature made positive changes to government pensions last year by increasing the amount workers and their employees contribute to their defined contribution plans. 

This session, Florida has continued to protect workers by rejecting a 3% automatic cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for pensions that was part of House Bill 151.

The Sunshine State has delivered more massive wins for workers and families and keeps winning with conservative, proven policies that put taxpayers first. Other states may get tired of hearing about Florida’s incredible success, but Americans certainly are not tired of it and keep moving in at a rapid clip.