At the 2016 Republican Party of Texas Convention, 93 percent of delegates voted overwhelmingly in support of a platform to review all, and repeal many, of Texas’ professional licenses.

Over 500 occupations in the State of Texas require some form of license ranging from a barber to a travel guide. Many of which are not vital to public health or safety. Even more absurd is that on average these occupational licenses cost roughly $304, take 326 days to acquire, and require an individual to pass two exams – just to be a travel guide.

The occupational licensing plank reads:

“We call upon the Texas Legislature to review all business/professional licensing programs and associated licensing for boards for the purpose of abolishing as many as reasonably possible and repealing those laws, rules, and regulations that exist merely to generate revenue from the licensing process.”

These licenses serve as nothing more than revenue streams and barriers to entry for those who don’t have the time or resources to go through the licensing process.

Last summer the Texas Supreme Court struck down one of these onerous licensing requirements related to threading. Threading – the process of removing unwanted hair using a string – somehow warranted 750 hours of coursework to obtain a license. The Supreme Court ruled it as an unconstitutional infringement on the right to earn a living.

Although they serve to generate revenue for government, it’s time that the legislature moves to lower the barriers of entry for Texans who are looking to make an honest living.

Charles Blain

Charles Blain is the president of Urban Reform and Urban Reform Institute. A native of New Jersey, he is based in Houston and writes on municipal finance and other urban issues.

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