The U.S. Department of Labor announced April 12 a $7.5 million grant to support the current occupational licensing reform movement. In 2017 the Department of Labor awarded a grant of identical size to a coalition of state legislative and executive branch organizations to support launch of the Occupational Licensing Policy Learning Consortium involving 11 states, including Arkansas.
A webinar hosted by the National Conference of State Legislatures on Thursday, April 12, provided policymakers with up-to-date information on recent developments related to occupational licensing reform. The program was presented in behalf of the Occupational Licensing Policy Learning Consortium, a group of 11 states, including Arkansas, involved in a three-year program to address occupational licensing issues in the United States.
The Council on Licensing, Enforcement, and Regulation, CLEAR, offers a variety of resources related to occupational licensing, including this state-by-state analysis of sunrise laws, which govern the formation of new licensing authorities, and sunset laws, which can result in the termination of licensing authority unless its continuation wins legislative approval. Other state-specific resources include the Texas Sunset Commission and Vermont statutes governing review of regulatory law
State Legislatures, a monthly magazine published by the National Conference of State Legislatures, provides in its April edition a comprehensive overview of various approaches states are taking to address issues surrounding occupational licensing.
The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services provides the most comprehensive list available of licensed, certified and registered occupations in the state.
Developed as part of the Occupational Licensing Policy Learning Consortium, the National Occupational Licensing Database offers state-by-state comparisons of licensing or certification practices for 34 occupations that 1) are regulated by at least 30 states, 2) have projected job-growth potential, 3) have an entry level of less than a four-year degree, and 4) have a national number of job holders exceeding at least 10,000.
Delegations from participating Consortium states launched the occupational licensing project with a three-day meeting in December 2017 to hear presentations and develop individual state plans for addressing issues.
Arkansas is one of 11 states accepted to participate in the Occupational Licensing Policy Learning Consortium, which is supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor and is managed jointly by the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Council of State Governments, and the National Governors Association’s Center for Best Practices.