Retiring Ohio Gov. Kasich Signs Occupational Licensing Sunset-Review Bill

Published February 14, 2019

Every occupational license in Ohio has been put on a six-year clock for review and potential elimination, under a law signed by retiring Gov. John R. Kasich on Jan. 11, 2019.

The law (SB 255) requires the legislature to review every occupational license in the state of Ohio, says Lee McGrath, managing attorney of the Institute for Justice’s Minnesota office and the organization’s senior legislative counsel.

“Over a six-year horizon, Ohio will look at each of their occupational licenses and determine if they should remain or be repealed, because the bill automatically repeals all of them,” said McGrath.

The state could renew each licensing requirement, convert it to a lesser type of regulation, or let it lapse, says McGrath.

Nebraska enacted similar reforms in April 2018, says McGrath.

“By enacting this bill, Ohio joins Nebraska as leaders in implementing rigorous sunset review of all occupations,” McGrath said.

‘Least Restrictive Regulation’

 Ohio has an “over-licensing” problem, says Greg R. Lawson, a research fellow at The Buckeye Institute and a policy advisor to The Heartland Institute, in testimony before the Ohio House Federalism and Interstate Relations Committee.

“Nearly every Ohio license that requires training can be earned in less time in another state,” said Lawson. “[O]nerous licensing burdens…make Ohio less competitive, less prosperous, and less attractive to entrepreneurs and their employees.”

SB255 takes several steps toward fixing the Ohio’s occupational licensing problem, Lawson said.

Frist, said Lawson, “Policymakers would be required to use the least restrictive regulation.” Second, “Boards that the General Assembly does not proactively reauthorize would simply dissolve.”

Finally, in addition to its sunset provisions, “SB255 also creates a ‘sunrise’ review process to be used whenever a new licensing bill is introduced,” Lawson testified.

Kenneth Artz ([email protected]) writes from Dallas, Texas.

Internet Info

Greg R. Lawson, “Interested Party Testimony Before the House Federalism and Interstate Relations Committee on Senate Bill 255,” The Buckeye Institute, November 27, 2018: