This week, I wrote a piece for Real Clear Politics Pennsylvania on the occupational licensing system and the need for reform.
Legislatures across the country are starting to take notice of the importance of making our occupational licensing system easier to use.
In Pennsylvania, our legislature and the executive branch have made some progress, but other efforts have been stymied. When I was the Communications Director for Governor Tom Wolf, We put a focus on occupational licensing reform and Governor Josh Shapiro has taken some important steps to build on these efforts.
It's past time to nimble around the edges, the Pennsylvania legislature and the Shapiro administration should pass comprehensive reform that will give Pennsylvanians more freedom and help grow Pennsylvania's economy.
Across the United States, the occupational licensing process is broken. Licensing boards present an impassable barrier for too many people who want to start new careers. We’ve allowed these boards to throttle the labor market for professions ranging from nurses to barbers to campsite-membership salespeople, auctioneers, and cemetery brokers.
It’s true here in Pennsylvania, too. The licensing process creates artificial scarcity, and at a time when costs are rising for families, these strictures limit the labor market and drive up costs. Occupational licensing reform is a rare area of bipartisan agreement that can make people’s lives easier without an associated cost. Pennsylvania is poised to build on the work already underway in this area and emerge as a national leader.
Removing one of the primary obstacles to economic vibrancy in the commonwealth, especially at a time when we need more growth and economic mobility, should be a no-brainer. Reforming occupational licensing will help Pennsylvania grow, reduce costs for families, and help more people find work and careers.