Local Occupation Freedom Act

Summary

Local government is often the more egregious offender in limiting economic opportunity for those with limited means, education, and income through occupational and professional regulations of various kinds, including licensing, certification, registration, franchising, and bonding regulations. It is not uncommon that the regulations flow from the efforts of politically well-connected incumbent businesses to protect themselves from competition. This Act is intended to ensure that occupational and professional regulation at the local level is imposed for the exclusive purpose of protecting the public interest. This Act requires local governments to research the issues involved and prove that the occupational regulation truly serves the public good.

Model Policy

{Title, Enacting clause, etc.}

Section 1. {Report and legislative permission required to regulate an occupation or profession.}

(A)  Notwithstanding any other law, a county, city or town may only consider regulation of an occupation or profession that limits the ability of individuals to enter the profession if the county, city or town conducts a study that finds:

(1)   The regulation is for the exclusive purpose of protecting the public interest;

(2)   Using objective data from multiple sources, evidence shows that the unregulated practice may harm or endanger or clearly harms or endangers the public health, safety or welfare;

(3)   The actual or anticipated public benefit of the regulation clearly exceeds the costs imposed on consumers, businesses, potential entrants into the occupation or profession, and other individuals; and

(4)   The regulation is a true public necessity, and the public cannot be effectively protected by private certification, other non-governmental alternatives, or other non-restrictive changes in public policy.

(B)   The county, city or town shall submit the study conducted pursuant to subsection (A) of this section to the [auditor general or other appropriate official] to review, and the [auditor general or other appropriate official] shall issue a report on the soundness of the methodology, accuracy, rigor and thoroughness of the study.

(C)   The county, city or town shall submit a written report explaining the factors prescribed in subsection (A) of this section and how the county, city or town intends to regulate the occupation or profession, including the limits on the practice that the county, city or town intends to impose, to the [appropriate state legislative office] which shall assign the written report to the appropriate committee of reference of the state legislature. The legislative committee of reference may consider legislation to grant counties, cities, or towns the authority to regulate the specific occupation or profession. The legislative committee of reference shall consider the report of the [auditor general or other appropriate official] conducted pursuant to subsection (B) of this section. The county, city or town shall not regulate the occupation or profession without authorization from the state legislature.

(D)  Each year the [auditor general or other appropriate official] shall publish a list of counties, cities and towns that regulate professions and each profession that is regulated by those counties, cities and towns.

(E)   County, city or town regulations of an occupation or profession in effect prior to the effective date of this Act shall be null and void ten years after the effective date of this Act unless the county, city or town complies with this section.

Section 2. {Severability clause}

 Section 3. {Repealer clause}                    

 Section 4. {Effective date}

 Approved by the ALEC Board of Directors, August 3, 2013.

 

Keyword Tags: Commerce Insurance and Economic Development Task Force, Employment, Occupational Licensing, Regulation