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Daily Legislative Brief from January 28, 2020

Economic Development

HB 1193 – Relating to Deregulation of Professions and Occupations

On Tuesday, January 28, HB 1193 by Representative Blaise Ingoglia (R-Spring Hill) was heard by the House Government Operations & Technology Appropriations Subcommittee and was reported favorable with 10 yeas and 2 nays. AIF stood in support of this legislation.

An occupational or professional license is a form of regulation that requires individuals who want to perform certain types of work, such as contractors and cosmetologists, to obtain permission from the government to perform the work. In the 1950s, less than five percent of U.S. workers were required to have an occupational license to do their jobs. Since then, the number of workers required to have a license has risen to more than one-quarter of U.S. workers, and an estimated 28.7 percent of the Florida workforce requires a license from the state.

In 2015, The White House published a report on the current state of occupational licensing in the nation. The report found that when designed and implemented carefully, requiring occupational licenses offers important health and safety protections to consumers, as well as benefits to workers. However, the report also found that too often licensing requirements are inconsistent, inefficient, arbitrary, and there is evidence that the current licensing regimes in the U.S. raise the price of goods and services, restrict employment opportunities, and make it more difficult for workers to take their skills across state lines.

Specifically, the bill, cited as the “Occupational Freedom and Opportunity Act,” does the following:

  • Deregulates:
    • Interior designers and interior design businesses, hair braiders, hair wrappers, and body wrappers, nail polishers and makeup applicators, and boxing announcers and timekeepers.
  • Partially deregulates:
    • Auctioneers, talent agents, and labor organizations.
  • Eliminates the additional business license for:
    • Asbestos abatement consultants and contractors, architects, landscape architects, and geologists.
  • Reduces the hours of training required to obtain a license for:
    • Barbers and restricted barbers, and nail, facial and full specialists.
  • Adds new ways for out of state professionals to obtain a license in the state for:
    • Veterinarians, construction and electrical contractors, landscape architects, geologists, engineers, certified public accountants, home inspectors, building code professionals, and cosmetologists barbers.
  • Reduces the number of members on the Florida Building Commission.
  • Authorizes unlicensed individual to provide compensated dietary and nutritional information if such individuals do not represent that they are licensed dieticians or nutritionists.
  • Prohibits DBPR from disciplining or revoking a licensee based solely on defaulting on a student loan.

HB 1193 will now move to the House Commerce Committee.

AIF supports legislative action to lessen burdensome and unnecessary regulations on Florida businesses.