An occupational license deregulation bill cleared its second House committee by a 10-2 margin Tuesday, despite concerns about it from members of affected professions.
HB 1193, from Spring Hill Republican Rep. Blaise Ingoglia, is billed as the Occupational Freedom and Opportunity Act.
The legislation attempts to push through reforms long sought by free marketeers, including Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“This is almost the exact same bill you heard last session,” Ingoglia said of the deregulation package.
Mold remediation is out of the bill, and barbers now are required 400 hours of training, which is a condition the sponsor said would not compromise student aid.
The bill allows for reciprocal licensing from different states.
Ingoglia noted that Florida has the fourth-highest rate of occupational licensing, with 30% subject to the requirements.
A wide swath of professions, ranging from cosmetology to interior design, would be affected in the legislation. Auctioneers, barbers, and geologists would have fewer education requirements, with nutritionists and boxing announcers seeing some licensing requirements eliminated completely.
DBPR, the James Madison Institute, and Americans for Prosperity back the bill,
Meanwhile, the American Society for Interior Designers does not, citing five accredited programs in the state as professional validation for the trade.
Nutritionists also balked, saying that the bill would allow unqualified practitioners and reverse a 1988 law passed unanimously by the Legislature.
Ingoglia described it as heartening that only a couple of people spoke about the interior design piece of the bill, saying that contrary to assertions, the bill would not preclude the “sign and seal” of construction plans.
He also noted that residential interior design is “completely deregulated,” and Florida is one of just six states regulating the commercial sphere in that field.
In what was an extended close, Ingoglia stressed the limitations put on “low-income individuals” via barriers to entry set up by the licensing scheme.
The Commerce Committee is the next stop for the House bill. If successful there, the House floor awaits.
The Senate version (SB 474) from Sen. Ben Albritton has different language, and has two committee stops before the Senate floor.