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.
The Council of State Governments maintains the National Center for Interstate Compacts. Compacts in some instances have made possible the improved portability of occupational licenses among compact states.
The state of Oklahoma’s Occupational Licensing Task Force undertook a year-long study of issues surrounding occupational licensing and issued this 2018 report with recommendations for state leadership.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics published this 2015 report that examines efforts by some states to eliminate licensing considered to be a barrier for entry into certain occupations.
The Institute for Justice in November 2017 published its License to Work report , second edition, and subtitled: “A national study of burdens from occupational licensing.” The non-profit Institute for Justice is based in Arlington, Virginia, and describes itself as “The National Law Firm for Liberty.”
Dr. Derek Slagle, an assistant professor of public administration at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and an employee of the Arkansas House of Representatives, has begun review of occupational licensing issues nationally and in Arkansas and on March 26 presented preliminary findings to the Red Tape Reduction Working Group and the occupational licensing advisory group.
Governor Asa Hutchinson appointed a 17-member Red Tape Reduction Working Group to examine occupational licensing in Arkansas and identify ways to reduce regulations without compromising the safety of consumers. After announcing formation of the Working Group in February, the governor in March added two more members: Daryl Bassett of the Department of Workforce Services and Brian Bowen, Deputy Attorney General for State Agencies at the Attorney General’s Office.