Licensing Reform in California

California’s unemployment rate exceeds the national rate:

One reason is crony capitalism in the form of oppressive licensing laws. California passed its first licensing law in 1850, requiring foreigners to buy a license to mine gold. Today one in five working Californians requires a license from the state government. The principal beneficiaries of such laws are existing licensees, who use them to keep out competition and drive up prices. The principal losers are consumers, who pay higher prices and suffer inconvenience, and workers, who find fewer work opportunities and incur costs. Licensing is especially costly to prison parolees, military spouses, veterans and immigrants.

A state commission determined that the state licensing process “often is a political activity instead of a thoughtful examination of how best to protect consumers.” In 2015 Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a “Music Therapy Act” that would have regulated music therapists, writing that the bill “appears to be unnecessary as . . . a private sector group already has defined standards for board certification. Why have the state now add another violin to the orchestra?”

So, what are the candidates vying to take Mr. Brown’s place saying about licensing reform? So far as we can tell, nothing. Next time you see a gubernatorial candidate please ask for their views.

Meanwhile, GFC has endorsed AB 2682, a licensing reform bill sponsored by GFC-backed Assemblymember Autumn Burke that would allow certified nurse-midwives to manage a full range of women’s health care services, including gynecologic and family planning services, without the state requiring the presence of a physician. Untethering nurse-midwives from state-mandated physician supervision would increase access to health care for women, especially in less affluent and rural areas of the state.


Originally appeared on Medium, 5/20/18.