President Trump on Wednesday, May 9, signed an executive order to benefit military spouses by enhancing employment opportunities at the federal government level and by promoting policies to improve occupational license portability and remove barriers for employment. Accompanying the executive order was a report by the Council of Economic Advisers on employment of military spouses. The report in part examines the effects associated with occupational licensing and observes: “Military spouses are more likely than other workers to be caught up in this country’s patchwork of occupational licensing laws, both because they are more likely to move across State lines and because they are disproportionately employed in occupations that require a license.”
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.