AFP-FL lauds House bill to slash occupational license regulations - Florida Politics

AFP-FL lauds House bill to slash occupational license regulations

Conservative group Americans for Prosperity Florida praised a House proposal that would relax regulations and fees levied on some professional licenses and nix certain requirements for registering new ventures with the state.

“People want jobs, not roadblocks. Let’s free entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams and build better lives for themselves and their families by getting government out of the way,” AFP-FL Director Chris Hudson said.

HB 15 by Monticello Republican Rep. Halsey Beshears would free up entrepreneurs who work as hair braiders, hair wrappers, body wrappers, manicurists, pedicurists and makeup artists by allowing them to nearly skip registration altogether, including the $25 fee that’s currently the law of the land.

Those workers would still need to be at least 16 years old and able to prove a certain level of training, but would be allowed to import their license from another state or become qualified through certain public school programs.

Rules for interior design firms get tidied up under the bill, which would also repeal statutes prohibiting felons and those deemed not to be “of good moral character” from serving as registered agents for a business. The removed statutes also required would-be agents to cut a $25 check to the state and have their fingerprints taken by a law enforcement agency.

AFP-FL cited a study from the Institute for Justice that found the Sunshine State’s “occupational licensing regime is in the top tier as one of the most restrictive in the nation.”

“The state enforces burdensome laws that deter entry into 45 of the 102 low- and moderate-income occupations surveyed. On average, breaking into one of these occupations requires $274 in fees, 603 days lost to education and experience – over a year-and-a-half – and one exam,” the report said.

The group said lawmakers’ votes on HB 15 will make up part of their grade on the “Economic Freedom” report cards that head out post session. AFP-FL said the rest of the bills tracked in the scorecard will be announced before the 2018 Legisaltive Session kicks off in January.

HB 15 is set to go before the House Commerce Committee when it meets 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for SaintPetersBlog and FloridaPolitics.com. While at the University of Florida, Wilson was an editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and after graduation, he moved to Los Angeles to cover business deals for The Hollywood Reporter. Before joining Extensive Enterprises, Wilson covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools.

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