Governor Little's First Executive Orders Target Idaho Regulations, Occupational Licenses

Jan 31, 2019

Gov. Brad Little is taking aim at reducing the “state regulatory burdens on Idaho citizens and businesses” with his first two executive orders.

The first of the two orders will put an expiration date on all future occupational licensing laws, as well as regularly review the licensing requirements for each job.

Little’s second order forces state agencies to ditch two regulations for each new regulation they want to implement until the summer of 2021. If they don’t cut any, state agencies must issue a statement “clearly and thoroughly stating why existing rules cannot be simplified or eliminated.” President Donald Trump instituted a similar policy last year.

“Most know excessive regulation at all levels of government can impose high costs on business, inhibit job growth and inhibit [the] private sector,” Little says.

When asked whether he thought repealing regulations could put the public at risk, Little said safety is “the number one issue.”

“That is an uncompromising position – the safety. But if you read through all of [those regulations], you’re going to see a lot of them that have nothing to do with safety.”

Idaho lawmakers enthusiastically clapped for these proposals, which Little touched on during his State of the State speech last month.

Many states in recent years have started rolling back certain occupational licensing requirements that have affected everyone from those who’ve been convicted of crimes to military veterans who frequently move from place to place.

About one in four workers across the country has either a license or is certified to do their job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many require substantial training before being able to practice in the state.

For example, a barber in Idaho must clock at least 900 hours of training, and cosmetologists must complete at least 1,600 hours of training before being able to apply for their first license.

Those who were issued these types of licenses from other states would need several years of professional experience to avoid needing to go back to school or enroll in an apprenticeship program under Idaho rules.

“We need to assure the cumulative effects of rules and licensing is as citizen-friendly as possible,” Little said.

House Republicans are expected to introduce legislation later this session to ease restrictions on licensing for military veterans and their spouses.

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