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Changing Florida’s Occupational Licensing

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Since 2019, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has eliminated and reduced dozens of regulations dealing with occupational licenses. Many of these include interior designers, hair braiders, hair wrappers, body wrappers, nail polishers, makeup artists, barbers and cosmetology occupations.

But if free market advocates get their way, you may see more deregulation from Governor DeSantis.

“People working in these industries are told they can’t make any money unless they have a license. It makes one feel that they have to ask for a permission slip from the government to make a living,” said Skylar Zander, Florida state director for Americans for Prosperity. (AFP)

Zander says politicians pass these bills for “consumer safety” yet most of the licensed occupations do not pose significant risks to consumers health or safety. 

AFP for years has advocated deregulating many of these professionals. However, Zander points out many of these groups that needed listening want to keep the status quo as a form of anti-competitive protectionism, much like a monopoly.

Now the group is pushing for what is known as “Universal License Recognition.” This would allow those who have an occupational license in one state to be recognized and granted a license when they move to a different state, such as Florida.  

Most of these professionals would perform their job duties the same way, regardless of where they practice their trade. By eliminating barriers to these professionals in other states who want to live here in Florida, the state can more easily welcome them in and let them contribute to our state’s economy, all while serving our residents,” says Zander.

AFP also says that Universal License Recognition doesn’t just benefit the individual — it’s a positive for the entire state, supporting a flourishing Florida economy by boosting employment and lowers costs for businesses because there is no outlay to retrain these professionals as they were already trained to earn a license in the state they came from.

Zander says AFP is supporting DeSantis in this move to implement this program in the upcoming 2025 state legislature.

“The governor’s reforms have moved the state in the right direction and there is still room for further licensing deregulation in Florida,” said Zander.


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