The State Government Oversight and Reform Committee took Sponsor’s testimony March 7 with regard to SB255 which would require “regular legislative oversight” of occupational licensing boards and reduce “onerous barriers” to entry in the workforce that some believe keep hard-working Ohioans sidelined.

Sponsor Robert McColley noted the hours of training required to become a licensed cosmetologist, barber or auctioneer and contrasted it to the far lower number of training hours to become a licensed Emergency Medical Technician, saying these requirements are “unjustly burdensome on some professions more than others.”

McColley also said the occupational licensing boards can act unilaterally on issues regarding issuance or revocation of licenses, fees, renewal processes and conduct rules. This kind of occupational regulation, he said, “is the antithesis of job creation” and requires well-intentioned people to “ask the government for a permission slip to simply earn a living.”

He said that reducing licensure has bipartisan appeal, with support from the Heritage Foundation, Buckeye Institute and Brookings Institute and backing from the administrations of former President Barack Obama and President Donald Trump.

The bill describes the board review process– the Legislative Service Commission (LSC) would: submit a public report on the board’s impact; create an official state policy on review of occupational licensing boards and regulations; require the chief of the Common Sense Initiative be notified of each board’s review and testify regarding the board’s effectiveness and efficiency; and establish a sunsetting process where licensing boards are reviewed every five years in a staggered process of 20 percent of the boards each year. If they fail to be renewed, boards would automatically sunset on Dec. 31 of the fifth year after they were established or last renewed. McColley qualified that by saying it is “highly unlikely” boards would be eliminated en masse.