ATR President Grover Norquist sent the following letter to the Ohio Senate urging legislators to approve Senate Bill 246, occupational licensing reform. The Senate bill, and its House companion, would have Ohio recognize out-of-state license holders who are in good standing with their home states, allowing them to legally work in Ohio in that profession without having to go through all of Ohio’s required training, and the associated costs:
To: Members of the Ohio Senate
Re: ATR Supports Senate Bill 246
On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform and our supporters across the Buckeye State, I encourage you to support and pass Senate Bill 246, to bring universal licensing recognition to Ohio. Government should not place unnecessary barriers between workers and jobs. SB 246 (and similarly, HB 432) would allow workers moving into the state, who have licenses in good standing in other states, to practice without having to earn a new Ohio license from scratch.
Making this transition more seamless for new residents will save countless hours by removing redundant regulatory hurdles. It will also make Ohio a more attractive state for workers with valuable skills, those starting new careers, and business owners.
In 1950, around one in 20 workers needed an occupational license for their job, but today that number has exploded to roughly one in four. Too many licenses have been created at the behest of politically connected interests to restrict competition. A study from the Institute for Justice found that Ohio has lost over 67,000 jobs due high licensing burdens, as well as over $209 million in deadweight losses in addition to the misallocation of over $6 billion.
Universal licensing recognition has always been a good idea, but the coronavirus crisis has shown how urgently reform is needed, as many states quickly recognized out-of-state licenses for doctors and nurses in order to bring more health care workers to the frontlines.
SB 246 would expand this approach to all trades, reaping major economic benefits for Ohio. This would be especially helpful for older, lower-income workers, and those without a college degree, who are all particularly disadvantaged by licensing barriers, as a study from the Buckeye Institute shows.
Arizona, Pennsylvania, Utah, Montana, Idaho, Iowa, and Missouri have passed reforms similar to SB 246. Ohio has been a leader on occupational licensing reform, implementing a sunset review process, and licensing recognition for military spouses. Ohio should remain at the front of the race with competing states by approving universal recognition.
For these reasons, we urge you to approve SB 246.
Grover G. Norquist
Americans for Tax Reform