Cornyn Bill to Ease Burdensome Occupational Licensing Requirements Passes House

In: All News   Posted 06/22/2017

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) released the following statement after language from his New Hope and Opportunity through the Power of Employment Act (New HOPE Act), included in the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353), passed the House of Representatives today.    

“We should be doing all we can to break down barriers holding folks back from good-paying jobs,” said Sen. Cornyn. “States need more flexibility to ease licensing requirements that have gone beyond their original intent and hindered opportunity for job-seekers.  This bipartisan legislation allows governors to ease these burdensome requirements, saving time and money for the thousands of workers in occupations requiring licenses.”

Senators Cornyn and Gary Peters (D-MI) introduced the New HOPE Act, a bipartisan occupational licensing reform bill that will give state governments tools to help initiate reforms to ensure bureaucratic requirements are not creating unnecessary barriers for those seeking to enter the workforce. The legislation will help states decide if they want to eliminate or reduce burdensome licensing requirements that are serving as an impediment to job creation. Representatives Tim Walberg (R-MI-07) and Henry Cuellar’s (D-TX-28) companion legislation to the New HOPE Act was included in the bill that passed the House of Representatives.

Background on New HOPE Act:

Overly burdensome and unnecessary state licensing mandates can require an individual to first pay fees, complete education and training programs, and even sometimes pass exams before they can enter some of the very professions most suitable to giving them a chance at meaningful work.  Many of these licenses have little grounding in protecting public safety.   States should review these occupational licensing regulations to ensure they are promoting opportunity and fostering a regulatory climate that encourages entrepreneurship and job creation.  

The bill provides additional authority to state governors receiving an existing, bipartisan appropriation of discretionary funds for career and technical education, giving them the discretion to use this money for the “identification, consolidation, or elimination of licenses or certifications which pose an unnecessary barrier to entry for aspiring workers and provide limited consumer protection.”

Sen. Cornyn announced the introduction of the New HOPE Act earlier this year at a Sport Clips in Austin, Texas with local business leaders from industries with high barriers for job-seekers.