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On January 14, 2020 in the Condition of the State, Governor Reynolds laid out a four-point occupational licensing reform plan:

  1. Universal license recognition;
  2. Waive license fee for low-income individuals;
  3. Uniform standard for considering criminal convictions in professional licenses;
  4. Creation of a commission to review all occupational licenses every four years.

She stated that a recent study showed the current occupational licensing requirements in place in Iowa cost the state 48,000 jobs and $290 million.  In License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing, a publication researched and written by the Institute for Justice, it was determined that Iowa is the 12th most broadly and onerously licensed state in the country. The research identified 102 lower-income occupations and identified which state-licensed these positions. Iowa required occupational licenses for 71 of the 102 occupations. Iowa also licenses a number of professions that are rarely licensed in other states, such as travel agencies (6) and dental assistants (8). [1]

According to this study, the average barrier to entry in these occupations is $178 in fees, 288 days lost to education and experience, and around one exam. An excellent example of how burdensome these requirements are can be seen in dental assistants (licensed in less than 20% of states). They are required to have 20 hours of education, 6 months of experience, $86 in fees, and three examinations. Iowa also requires 2,100 hours of experience for aspiring barbers and cosmetologists, which is the highest in the country, while EMTs only need 110 hours of experience.


Author: Press Release