The Right Direction On Occupational Licensing In Missouri
The Missouri Legislature passed Senate Bill 330 last week. I hope the governor signs it (I cannot see a reason for a veto). SB 330 makes several small but worthwhile changes to state licensing rules. Generally speaking, the legislation expands the practice areas of certain jobs, allowing them to do things they were previously prevented from doing. Nurses, dental assistants, and counselors now all have slightly expanded practice areas and slightly reduced regulatory control of their jobs. This is a good thing. Furthermore, there are now a few more ways to become licensed as a hearing instrument specialist in Missouri. This is also a good thing.
What is a VERY good thing is that we appear to be moving in the right direction on the larger issue in Missouri. To the best of my knowledge, we have not passed wholesale licensing requirements for a new occupation in Missouri for a few years. (I may be overlooking some, but I do not think so.) Last year, due to prompting by court rulings, the state significantly reduced the licensing burdens to open a moving company in our state. This year, we passed SB 330, with its entirely positive changes. At the state level, we have leaders such as Missouri Rep. Eric Burlison (R-Dist. 133) who care about the personal and economic harms when government makes choices that markets and customers should be making.
At the local level, we still see an expansion of licensing abuses, from street performer auditions and valet parking licenses in Saint Louis to totally bogus HVAC rules in Saint Louis County. But at the state level, we are doing the right thing. Remember, occupational licensing of most occupations benefits current practitioners at the expense of future competitors and the public. We need less of it in Missouri.