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Mr. Burt’s Story
A fresh haircut, a clean shave and good conversation can do wonders for the spirit. Waterloo resident William Burt realized this while in prison and knew then that being a barber was his passion.
When Burt, known as “K Burt,” re-entered society, he put in the work to bring his talents to underserved communities. But Iowa law stood in his way.
Help Mr. Burt and others like him. Tell lawmakers to Let Iowa Work!
Every state has occupational licensing laws, many that require onerous training and overly expensive fees. These do nothing but keep otherwise qualified people out of the workforce.
In Iowa, each aspiring barber must pay tens of thousands of dollars to attend barber school, pass an examination, then pay the added costs for license application and renewal fees — all while shouldering the burden of wages lost while putting time into the licensing requirements.
Occupational licensing laws vary from state to state with the same public safety outcomes. This proves most of those laws are completely arbitrary. It’s time for reform.
Lawmakers: Finish the job!
Occupational licensing reform has quickly become an obvious tool for states to address work force shortages and reduce barriers to economic opportunity. States like Arizona and Ohio, Nebraska and Mississippi are completely changing their regulatory landscape and the economic outlook of their citizens by freeing people to find meaningful work.
The limited licensing reform bill signed into Iowa law in May 2019 was a good first step. But lawmakers must finish the job and completely remove red tape that keeps qualified Iowans from pursuing their dreams.
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