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Americans for Prosperity Press Release

AFP Praises Trump Administration’s Call for States to Prioritize Occupational Licensing Reform

Jan 17, 2020 by AFP

JUNEAU, Alaska – Americans for Prosperity-Alaska (AFP-AK) praised the Trump Administration for calling on state governments to prioritize occupational licensing reform during upcoming legislative sessions and for issuing recommended principles to remove barriers to work. AFP-AK believes embracing these principles will help expand access to fulfilling work for thousands of Alaskans.

AFP-AK State Director, Ryan McKee issued the following statement:

“Outdated and unfair occupational licensing laws are a barrier to thousands of Alaskans finding fulfilling work and achieving their potential. We tell folks to get to work, but our laws make it so difficult for them to do so.

“We commend the Trump Administration for recognizing the need for occupational licensing reform that puts people first. This session, we encourage Alaska’s lawmakers to seize every opportunity to work together and pass legislation that reduces the burdens of occupational licensure on Alaskans.”


The Trump administration called on state governments to act on occupational licensure reform and issued six principles it believes are critical for good reform.

  1. States and territories should eliminate unnecessary occupational licensing regulations.
  2. States and territories should ensure that all occupational licensing regulations, including those currently in force, are the least restrictive necessary to protect consumers from significant and substantiated harm, ensure worker safety, and promote competition.
  3. States and territories should ensure that occupational licensure boards consider the negative effects of any proposed regulation on consumers and job seekers.
  4. States and territories should recognize the occupational licenses of other States and territories for those individuals who hold a license in good standing and who have not been subject to any complaint or discipline related to their license.
  5. States and territories should eliminate requirements that needlessly prevent individuals with a criminal record from earning a living in a field unrelated to their criminal conviction.
  6. States and territories should take immediate action to ensure that military spouses who accompany their spouses on permanent change-of-station orders are not adversely affected by occupational licensing regulations.

In the 1950s, about one-in-twenty Americans required a license to work. Today that number is one-in-four.

Occupational licenses are ostensibly intended to protect consumers from harm, but research and historical observations suggest licensing laws have negligible and even negative effects on health and safety. Instead, occupational licenses serve entrenched interests by insulating them from competition.

An Obama White House report also found that: “Licensing laws also lead to higher prices for goods and services… Moreover, in a number of other studies, licensing did not increase the quality of goods and services, suggesting that consumers are sometimes paying higher prices without getting improved goods or services.”