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Curbing Occupational Licensing – Status Report

Will the effort fizzle?

In December, the Occupational Licensing Review Subcommittee (a subcommittee of the Arkansas Legislature), recommended the elimination of two minor state occupational licenses and recommended changing another license to registration. The recommendations addressed duplicate licensing where the business is licensed and another license is required of those actually doing the work.

The subcommittee co-chaired by Senator Missy Irvin, (R-Mountain View), and Rep. Richard Womack, (R-Arkadelphia), recommended the elimination of two licenses – the Individual Sprinkler Fitters License (fire sprinklers) and the Individual Motor Vehicle Salesperson and New Recreational Vehicle Salesperson License.

The subcommittee also recommended the Lime Vendor Applicator License be changed to a registration requirement. It was reported there are only thirty-five licensees.

So how has the subcommittee’s recommendation done in this legislative session?

  • Eliminate Individual Sprinkler Fitters – NO BILL HAS BEEN FILED and at this late date in the legislative session it is unlikely to happen.
  • Eliminate Individual Motor Vehicle Salesperson and New Recreational Vehicle Salesperson License – PASSED as Act 504 of 2021. Unfortunately, the deregulation provision was combined in a bill to EXPAND GOVERNMENT by creating a grant program for Automotive Technologist Education Grant program. The deregulation provision was listed first in the title and perhaps was used to help sell the grant program. The sponsor was Jim Dotson (R-Bentonville).
  • Change Lime Vendor Applicator License to Registration – PASSED as Act 557 of 2021. The deregulation provision was inserted into a bill primarily about transferring authority from the State Plant Board to the Department of Agriculture. The sponsor was Rep. David Hillman (R-Almyra),

2021 has been a meager start for the effort to address Arkansas’ overregulation of occupations, but it was a start. The subcommittee had few recommendations, perhaps because Covid-19 slowed committee hearings. And the few recommendations presented by the committee were not all considered by the legislature.

The test will be how the subcommittee moves forward. Will legislators double down on their efforts and come up with much more aggressive recommendations for 2023 or will legislators let the effort fizzle?

Let your legislators know your thoughts on Arkansas’ overregulation of occupations.

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