Governor OK’s bill easing regulations on occupational licenses
Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a key bill Monday.

desantis signing
Sweeping reforms to a swath of occupations.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed off Tuesday on legislation easing regulations of licensed practitioners of a wide swath of occupations ranging from body wrapping to boxing announcing.

HB 1193, the Occupational Freedom and Opportunity Act, will bring change to many a trade.

Auctioneers, barbers, electrical contractors, and geologists will have fewer education requirements, with nutritionists, interior designers, landscape architects, nutritionists, accountants, alarm system installers and boxing announcers seeing some licensing requirements eliminated completely.

The bill allows for reciprocal licensing from different states, a key ask given Florida’s military population includes spouses and dependents who have demonstrated trade skills already.

Barbers and cosmetologists with active licenses elsewhere can practice in Florida, for example.

The bill also clears the way for food trucks to operate with impunity statewide, eliminating the fights in many jurisdictions the industry has faced.

DeSantis and the legislative architects of the bill, which was painstakingly crafted through an exacting amendment process, extolled the finished product in a media release from the Governor’s Office.

“For two years, we’ve pushed for regulatory reforms in Florida’s occupational licensing system to remove unnecessary barriers for individuals pursuing their professional aspirations,” said DeSantis.

“Today, with legislative and public support, we’re delivering on those reforms with a comprehensive and meaningful bill that will save thousands of Floridians both time and money for years to come.”

DBPR Secretary Halsey Beshears rhaposized, putting DeSantis on “the frontline of regulatory reform,” and describing the bill as “a major milestone in bringing common sense to occupational licensing standards.”

Senate sponsor Ben Albritton was no less enthusiastic: “All of the congratulations for streamlining Florida business regulations should go to Governor DeSantis. This is even more evidence that he cares about Floridians in a huge way. His leadership in this area is unparalleled!”

Rep. Blaise Ingoglia , the House sponsor, extolled the “piece of legislation stripping away unnecessary and onerous regulation, while keeping Floridians safe.”

“As the largest occupational license deregulation bill in our state’s history, this law cuts bureaucratic red tape, eliminate excessive licensing laws and paves the way for future entrepreneurs,” Ingoglia added.

Others extolled the legislation also.

“Especially now during the pandemic, states need to lower the barriers that keep people out of the workforce or discourage entrepreneurship,” said Institute for Justice President and General Counsel Scott Bullock. “Florida’s reform will fuel economic growth and open up opportunity to entry-level entrepreneurs throughout the state.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


4 comments

  • Maya Thomas

    July 1, 2020 at 8:32 am

    This bill has destryoed our profession.

    • Ben Bachrach

      July 1, 2020 at 11:45 am

      What profession has been destroyed?

  • Larry Gillis

    July 1, 2020 at 10:40 am

    This should be acknowledged as a serious down payment. A fundamental change in mindset has begun. However, the basic regulatory filigree remains in place, So, despite this serious accomplishment, we should all remember that much work remains to be done.

    FYI, the Libertarian Party (LP) is adamantly opposed to the State’s ability to intrude upon a person’s right to work for a living. We say: let the Market decide; let voluntary associations form to educate, to rate and to shame the incompetent.

    Specifically, our LP National Platform (2.9 licensing) says:

    “Libertarians support the right of every person to earn an honest and peaceful living through the free and voluntary exchange of goods and services. Accordingly, we oppose occupational and other licensing laws that infringe on this right are treated as a state-granted privilege. We encourage certifications by voluntary associations of professionals.”

    Larry Gillis, Cape Coral
    Vice Chair, Libertarian Party of Lee County (FL)

  • BlueHeron

    July 1, 2020 at 9:11 pm

    Phew. Thanks Gov.
    Now I can skip some education and become the electrical contractor I always wanted to be.

    Before y’all have a hissy fit…
    Reciprocity with other states really is a great move. Anyone moving to Florida who is already skilled could set up shop here but I want the actual license sanctioned by the state. Chances are excellent that they are even more qualified.

    The system for occupations IS very cumbersome and could be sensibly tweaked. A boxing announcer requires a license? Seems silly. The list of occupations must be a mile long and more than likely a high % include those who don’t need to be there. But I, for one, would like to see that my favorite food truck is regulated just enough to ensure the safety of customers. It would be comforting to know that the electrician I call is properly educated and licensed. If I hire an Accountant, it would help to know that they really are qualified. Anyone I hire who would affect me,my home, my finances, my physical health and well being needs to be educated and properly licensed. This state is already flooded with incompetent people passing themselves off as qualified in their chosen occupation. Don’t put up ridiculous and unnecessary roadblocks, but we must be a little more “surgical” when deciding which occupations are worthy of little education and little/no regulation.

    Lowering barriers while not lowering safety is a good thing. I hope it will be successful.

Comments are closed.


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