Reforming Occupational Licensing in Utah Webinar

In January of this year, Utah Governor Spencer Cox’s revealed his first executive order calling for state agencies to review all professional licensing requirements. Learn more on the process and reforms here

In June, we teamed up with the Marriner S. Eccles Institute for Economics and Quantitative Analysis (MEIEQA) at the University of Utah to host a webinar: Reforming Occupational Licensing in Utah. 

Why should Utahns care about occupational licensing reform? In part because “It creates significant inefficiencies in the labor market… the labor market needs flexibility for our workers to reconnect in the workforce”, said Dr. Edward Timmons of the Knee Center for the Study of Occupational Regulation at Saint Francis University. He noted how imperative it is to realize how many workers and consumers are directly affected. 

The current requirements at hand act as a barrier that prevents certain individuals from applying to jobs that could change their lives. These requirements include stopping people with criminal records to practice in specific fields, regardless of how small the charge is, to forcing applicants to meet English proficiency requirements, even when that may not be their first language.

The reforms mentioned highlight how deeply we need to reshape our current licensing requirements, and even only reforming the license boards would be half measure. 

Timmons goes through the three-step review process that he recommends for states to follow to have comprehensive licensing requirements detailed in his recent paper with us, How to Reform Occupational Licensing in Utah. Including having Regulators compare Utah’s licensing laws to other states, implementing a Fresh Start initiative, and creating a robust sunrise review process. Reforms such as these would allow regulators to act as independent entities to review occupational licensing laws and recommend changes to policymakers.

Read the recent occupational licensing essays published at the Marriner S. Eccles Institute for Economics and Quantitative Analysis at the University of Utah here: https://marriner.eccles.utah.edu/reforming-occupational-licensing-in-utah/

Check out what The Knee Center for the Study of Occupational Regulation at Saint Francis University is up to here: https://csorsfu.com/

You can find all of the CGO’s past research here:https://www.thecgo.org/research/

For more information, please contact: [email protected] 

CGO scholars and fellows frequently comment on a variety of topics for the popular press. The views expressed therein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Center for Growth and Opportunity or the views of Utah State University.