Passed bill encourages states to ease occupational licensing

Passed bill encourages states to ease occupational licensing

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

Senator Cornyn taking on what he calls job killing regulations. His New HOPE Act could loosen licensing burdens nation-wide.

This bill helps the legislature decide if it wants to eliminate or reduce burdensome licensing requirements that could get in the way of employment. 

Norma Ritz Johnson with the Lubbock chamber of commerce said it is is adding to the state's progress.

"In 2017, the state legislature in Texas eliminated 15,000 occupational license requirements." Johnson said.

Despite this, Johnson says there are still roadblocks for Texans seeking a higher wage.

"At one time, we were the 21st worst state when it came to the requirement levels in terms of dollars and in terms of training for occupational licensing," Johnson said. 

In Texas, getting a license requires an average of $304 in fees, 326 days of training, and two exams. However, it is unlikely Texas is going to do away or minimize all licensing requirements. 

Greg Linder, CEO of the Better Business Bureau said it is a case by case basis.

"There's a credibility issue that goes into a lot of it, you know you don't want to necessarily deal with an unlicensed electrician or unlicensed plumber or something like that," Linder said

Johnson said it is important to make reasonable changes. 

"There's been an inconsistency between the number of days required to be an EMT and the number of days required to be a barber,"  Johnson said. "So those are the type of inconsistencies that's like, hey lets look at a competitive type of scheme when it comes to the rules and regulations and requirements that we do put down for people to be able to follow a successful career path."

Linder said this could help fill the void of skilled workers nationwide.

they've got open jobs all over the place, but they just can't find people to fill them that know what they're doing," Linder said. "So maybe there are some people out there that know what they're doing but this financial hurdle of getting this license might be keeping them from going into that job." 

A similar measure in the house included language from Cornyn's act, and passed in the house last year.

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