Keith Perry bill looks to preempt local occupational licensing requirements

GOP lawmakers say they plan to tackle licensing reform during the upcoming Session.

State Sen. Keith Perry wants state officials to have the final say into whether workers need a license to enter the workforce.

A new measure from Perry (SB 1336) would preempt local governments from requiring occupational licenses that are not mandated by the state.

If approved, the preemption measure would take effect on July 1, 2020. Any licenses imposed by local government prior to that date would stand — but only until July 1, 2022.

At that point, the issue would be governed by state law. Republican state Rep. Michael Grant filed a similar measure in the House in late November (HB 3).

Republicans have long pushed for licensing reform. But some Democrats have joined the calls as well. The Barack Obama White House detailed the harm of excessive occupational licensing during his time in office.

Those opposed to excessive licenses argue they are a burden for otherwise competent individuals looking to enter the workforce.

“This problem has effectively become a barrier to gain employment and secure economic opportunity, which falls hardest on the working class and working poor,” said state Rep. Paul Renner in October.

“Floridians should not face unreasonable hurdles to obtain a license that can lead to better opportunities in the workforce.”

Renner has said the Legislature will be tackling the issue in the upcoming 2020 Legislative Session.

In October, Gov. Ron DeSantis released his own occupational licensing reform agenda. That proposal called for legislation removing unnecessary licenses, a sunset of existing licenses and a push for “global licenses” that would allow individuals licensed in one county to perform similar work in another.

DeSantis has advocated for licensing reform dating back to his first days in office. In Jan. 2019, he held a “Deregathon” workshop in Orlando pushing for ideas to revamp Florida’s system.

“Are we putting up roadblocks to success or are we welcoming people?” DeSantis asked. “I think Florida’s occupational licensing system needs to be overhauled.”

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected].


  • Larry Gillis

    December 25, 2019 at 7:58 am

    The Libertarian Party of Florida is way ahead of everyone else on this one. See our platform at:

    We Libertarians appreciated early on that governmental licensing schemes (at ANY level) morph quickly. They change into revenue-raising schemes and turf-protection schemes and agenda-imposing schemes, regardless of any allegedly noble purpose they began with.

    The conundrum for us Libertarian is whether we’d rather be “revenued-and-turfed” at the local level or at some higher level, when we’d rather not be regulated at all. (“Let the market decide” is our mantra).

    Given the limited resources at hand to fight the good fight, I suppose it would be better to duke it out in one righteous struggle at the State level. The alternative is to “die the death of a thousand cuts” at the local level across Florida.

    (Merry Christmas to you, too).

    Larry Gillis, Libertarian Party of Lee County

  • James V. Callari

    December 26, 2019 at 11:12 am

    I have an occupation license for my home based business issued by the City of Gainesville, Fl. Once every three years, they send a zoning enforcement officer to my home to inspect and photograph my designated home office area. It is mandatory for me to retain my license. No other government agents can enter my home with due cause or a warrant, but the CoG does so in the name of zoning enforcement. On the last anniversary of the ‘visit’, they charged me the typical fee for the inspection, but no one ever showed up. I don’t know why, but I do not care, since I am glad they never came. I have always felt that this policy violated my civil rights, and I would be very happy for this law to pass, so they can no longer demand entry to my home. This city is notorious for its over-regulation and negative attitude toward private business concerns, and using those regulations to stymie or throttle business development. They effectively delayed Walmart for 10 years to keep them from opening a super-center. This is just one example of local over-reaching by local government. This new law will help to prevent such abuse. Great idea.

Comments are closed.


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