OCCUPATIONAL LICENSING IN STATE-OF-THE-STATE ADDRESSES

Iris Hentze 4/30/2019

Licensing Mentions in State-of-the-State Addresses

workerNCSL, in partnership with the Council of State Governments (CSG) and the National Governor’s Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) have been working on a multi-year project to research occupational licensure and identify related best practices.

The NGA Center is lending its executive-branch expertise to the project and has created this resource to track which governors mentioned occupational licensing as a priority in their 2019 State of the State addresses.

This table includes a list of quotes from governors’ 2019 State of the State addresses that relate to occupational licensing. Here you can find links to the full speech as well as the date of the speech and keywords that indicate specific topics that are covered. 

Click here to see interactive maps on Governors' Role in Occupational Licensing, maps of executive orders on occupational licensing since 2016 and states with Governors who mentioned occupational licensing in their 2019 State of the State addresses.

State-of-the-State Tracker

State Governor Quote Date Keywords/Topics
Arizona Doug Ducey (R) "Let’s stop this foolishness. Pass Warren Petersen’s bill to grant universal recognition for all occupational licenses — and let them work." 1/14/2019 Reciprocity
Idaho Brad Little (R) "Late last year, I finalized a report that outlined the scope of occupational licensing in Idaho and provided key recommendations. Working closely with the Legislature I intend to fulfill all recommendations from the Licensing Freedom Act – reducing regulatory burdens and improving customer service while protecting the public.  My first executive order as governor will put in place two of those recommendations: sunrise and sunset processes for future occupational licensing laws." 1/7/2019 Regulatory  burdens, sunrise and sunset
South Dakota Kristi Noem (R) "Another state-imposed barrier to workforce can be professional licensure. I am directing the Department of Labor and Regulation, over the next year, to work with our professional organizations and licensure boards to conduct a full review of licensing requirements. We need to consider the elimination of unnecessary licenses, opportunities to streamline the licensure process, and options to fast-track licenses for apprentices, in-state graduates, veterans, and military personnel and their families. We can’t let unneeded red tape get in the way of growth." 1/8/2019 Barrier to entry, fast-track licenses, veterans, military families
North Dakota Doug Burgum (R) "The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded us a $450,000 grant to study the licensing system so we can remove unnecessary barriers. Building off the great work already done by the Legislature, this study will continue for the next three years --- with early work focusing on high-demand occupations. We’re pleased to see proposed legislation that would grant occupational licensing reciprocity to military spouses. Making North Dakota more military-friendly is key to solving our workforce shortage." 1/3/2019 Unnecessary barriers, high-demand occupations, reciprocity, military families
Mississippi Phil Bryant (R) "Working together, we have also made it easier for our entrepreneurs to pursue the American dream, ridding our occupational licensing system of red tape that for too long had served as nothing more than a barrier to market entry. Other states are just now moving to adopt our plan to reduce regulatory burdens on professional services. It has become known across the United States simply as the “Mississippi Model.” This session, I will have some other recommendations to reduce more government regulations and unleash the independent spirit that will make Mississippi the most job-friendly state in America." 1/15/2019 Barrier to entry, regulatory burdens
New York Andrew Cuomo (D) "First, the governor will advance legislation to modernize the statutes governing occupational licensing in the state. Current New York state law prevents individuals with criminal convictions from obtaining certifications in certain professions that have no impact on public safety. For example, a previous felony conviction does not prevent someone from being considered for a medical license, but it does prevent someone from applying for a real estate broker’s license. This legislation will remove the remaining blanket statutory bans on criminal convictions in occupational licensing, with exceptions for occupations in law enforcement and security, and allow for an individualized assessment of an individual’s fitness for that license and occupation." 1/15/2019 Criminal convictions, certifications
Pennsylvania Tom Wolf (D) "We need to get those workers trained and into the workforce. If a business can't hire a worker because of an out-of-date or unnecessary rule or regulation, we need to know about it so we can take action. If medical professionals are concerned about a licensing backlog, they need receptive ears in state government." 2/5/2019 Regulatory burdens, medical professionals
Florida Ron DeSantis (R) "And its clear we need reform of our occupational licensing regime, which borders on the absurd and primarily serves to frustrate opportunities for Floridians. You can become a sniper in the Marine Corps by completing training for 79 days, which equates to 632 hours; becoming a licensed interior designer in Florida requires 1760 hours. You can earn jump wings by completing Army Jump School in three weeks, or about 168 hours; Florida law requires 1200 hours to become a licensed barber. Our DBPR secretary and your former colleague Halsey Beshears has identified a number of these requirements that need to be streamlined, rolled back or eliminated. This project merits your support." 3/5/2019 Regulatory burdens 

Additional Resources