New Hampshire Senate Rejects Occupational Licensing Bill

The New Hampshire Senate Executive Departments and Administration Committee rejected a bill that would have created a state commission for reviewing occupational licensing rules.

The committee voted to reject House Bill 1685 (H.B. 1685) on April 5. The state House of Representatives had approved the bill in March.

Opportunities Squashed

H.B. 1685’s sponsor, state Rep. Bill Ohm (R-Nashua) says his bill could have helped people get  jobs and lift themselves out of poverty and drug addiction.

“New Hampshire has an interesting dichotomy,” Ohm said. “We have extremely low unemployment but high levels of opioid addiction. We have perhaps 15,000 recovering opioid addicts sidelined from our workforce, and a need for able-bodied working adults. One part of the bill was to make New Hampshire ‘recovery friendly’ by requiring licensing boards to determine, in advance, whether an individual’s criminal record would disqualify that individual from obtaining the appropriate license.”

Ohm says H.B. 1685 would have created opportunities for those seeking to better themselves.

“The intention of the bill was to increase employment opportunities for those who wish to work,” Ohm said. “It does that by starting a process to review all occupational licensing over a five-year period to see if the current laws are appropriate.”

Hoped to Cut Cronyism

Ohm says many occupational licensing rules reflect obvious cronyism.

“Some professions, such as cosmetology, require more than 1,000 hours of training to get an appropriate license,” Ohm said. “The expense of that training serves to discourage job seekers who wish to enter that profession, and seems to primarily benefit those who wish to restrict additional competition. If an EMT can qualify for a license with 40 hours of training, is cosmetology that much more dangerous to public health and safety?”

‘Little Public Purpose’

David Harrington, an economics professor at Kenyon College, says his research has led him to conclude occupational licensing needlessly increases the prices of goods and services.

“Most of my studies of occupational licensing involve the funeral industry,” Harrington said. “I have found evidence that more stringent requirements to become a funeral service worker increase funeral prices paid by consumers and reduce the likelihood that they choose cremation, because funeral directors persuade many of them to purchase a more expensive, traditional earth burial.”

Ohm says many government occupational restrictions have little real benefit for the general public.

“Licensing is certainly appropriate for occupations that put the health and safety of the public at risk, such as medical professionals, but other licensed professions, such as an athletic trainer or an auctioneer, seem to involve little public risk,” Ohm said. “Requiring a state license to enter certain professions seems to create a high barrier to entry with little public purpose.”

Disparate Impacts

The burden of government permission slips is especially heavy for women and ethnic minorities, Harrington says.

“Women are less likely to be funeral directors in states that require all funeral directors to be embalmers,” Harrington said. “I also think that these laws make it difficult for immigrants to enter funeral directing to serve their communities.”

Free-Market Alternatives

Ohm says the public can ensure the safety and quality of goods and services without government control.

“Professions should be open to jobseekers who meet appropriate standards of training and proficiency,” Ohm said. “Industry or government certifications, proof of insurance and bonding, and even social media reports are less restrictive ways to protect consumers than licensing.”

Editor’s Note: This article was published in cooperation with The Heartland Institute’s Budget & Tax News.

PHOTO: New Hampshire State House in Concord, NH. Photograph taken and uploaded by Jared C. Benedict on 29 December 2004. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

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This Supreme Court Case Could Change Online Shopping Overnight

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AFP: Tax and Regulatory Relief Clearly Helping the Economy

“Imagine Where We Could Be Without The Specter Of Tariffs.”

Arlington, VA – Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the economy gained 223,000 jobs in May and the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent, matching April 2000 as the lowest reading since 1969.

Americans for Prosperity Chief Government Affairs Officer Brent Gardner issued the following statement:

“The jobs numbers continue to show that tax reform and regulatory relief are a boon for the economy and improving the lives of all Americans. Today’s job report shows one of the lowest unemployment rates since the 1960s and the lowest level of African American unemployment in recorded history. While this is good news, imagine where we could be without the specter of tariffs, which only undermine our full economic potential with the threat of higher costs for consumers and businesses.”

Background:

  • This morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the unemployment rate for May 2018 decreased to 3.8 percent, the lowest rate since April 2000, and that the economy gained 223,000 jobs.
  • The total number of jobs added during April and March was revised to 159,00 and 155,000 respectively for an average of roughly 207,000 jobs created per month so far this year.
  • Further, the percentage of individuals who are underemployed, which incorporates those who want a job but are no longer looking for work and those who are working part-time because no other work was available, fell to its lowest rate in 17 years.

For further information or to set up an interview, please send an email to [email protected].

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) exists to recruit, educate, and mobilize citizens in support of the policies and goals of a free society at the local, state, and federal level, helping every American live their dream – especially the least fortunate. AFP has more than 3.2 million activists across the nation, a local infrastructure that includes 36 state chapters, and has received financial support from more than 100,000 Americans in all 50 states. For more information, visit www.AmericansForProsperity.org

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Americans for Prosperity Thanks Senator Heitkamp for Cosponsoring the Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act

Today, AFP is launching a digital advertising campaign thanking Senator Heitkamp (D-ND) for cosponsoring the Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, (S. 2155), a bill that will ease constraints on regional and community banks put in place by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (H.R. 4173).

To view the ad thanking Senator Heitkamp, click here

The ad connects users to a page allowing them to thank Heitkamp and other members of the Senate who played important roles in the passage of this law. Click here to view that page.

Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips had this to say:

“Congress achieved a significant milestone in lifting some of the toughest restrictions Dodd-Frank placed on small banks and their consumers. This was a bipartisan effort made possible by lawmakers like Heidi Heitkamp who put politics aside to work together. While we don’t agree with Sen. Heitkamp on everything, particularly her vote against tax relief, we commend her for taking a stand against the leaders of her party to do the right thing. We hope to find common ground and work with Sen. Heitkamp on other issues moving forward including making tax relief permanent.”

“AFP is committed to working with lawmakers – regardless of party- to advance common sense reforms that help people improve their lives. At the same time, we will continue to hold members who voted against this crucial reform accountable.”

AFP-ND has held Senator Heitkamp accountable for harmful votes in the past, such as her vote against the historic tax reform legislation passed late last year.

AFP also thanked the following members in the Senate for their roles in passing the bill: Mike Crapo (R-ID), Ted Cruz (TX), Corey Gardner (R-CO), Dean Heller (R-NV), Ben Sasse (R-NE) Mark Warner (D-VA), Doug Jones (D-AL), and Michael Bennet (CO).

For further information or to set up an interview, please send an email to [email protected].

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) exists to recruit, educate, and mobilize citizens in support of the policies and goals of a free society at the local, state, and federal level, helping every American live their dream – especially the least fortunate. AFP has more than 3.2 million activists across the nation, a local infrastructure that includes 36 state chapters, and has received financial support from more than 100,000 Americans in all 50 states. For more information, visit www.AmericansForProsperity.org

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U.S. Supreme Court Reconsiders Online Sales Tax Rule

The U.S. Supreme Court is reconsidering a longstanding decision preventing states from requiring out-of-state businesses to collect and remit sales taxes on purchases made by residents of their states.

Oral arguments in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. began on April 17.

In the 1992 case Quill v. North Dakota, the Court established the “nexus” standard for business taxation, declaring a business need not remit sales taxes unless it maintains a physical location, or nexus, in the taxing jurisdiction. Consumers are supposed to pay the tax directly to governments, but compliance is rare.

Lawyers representing 41 states, including South Dakota, are asking the court to overturn the Quill decision.

Matter of Jurisdiction

Tim Huelskamp, president and CEO of The Heartland Institute, which publishes Budget & Tax News, says state governments lack the constitutional authority to tax people outside their borders.

“The United States is essentially 50 free markets,” Huelskamp said. “The Quill decision made it clear that, [for example] New York has no authority to tax folks in Kansas if the business doesn’t have a presence there, which matches all kinds of constitutional standards. We’re going to let the state of California reach into every state in the Union? It’s certainly scary to proponents of limited government.”

More Taxes, More Problems

Andrew Moylan, president of the National Taxpayers Union, says reversing the Quill decision would hit small business owners with more taxes and complex paperwork.

“Large retailers already have to collect tax in every state because they have storefronts, warehouses, or employees in states across the country,” Moylan said. “The people who would be negatively impacted by this are those small- and medium-sized businesses, and particularly people who utilize so-called marketplaces—think of websites like eBay or Etsy or even Amazon Marketplace.”

Huelskamp says states should reduce spending and enforce existing laws instead of trying to tax outsiders.

“I think we have a spending problem in most of these states, not a revenue problem,” Huelskamp said. “There are a number of other options. Eighty percent of this revenue is already collectible under current law.”

Interstate Commerce Slowdown

Moylan says undoing Quill would cause many business owners to stop selling to out-of-state consumers.

“They’d see huge compliance costs and major complexity to the point where they would most likely just not sell across state lines,” Moylan said. “If businesses find it too complicated to engage in interstate commerce, they will simply stop.”

Editor’s Note: This article was published in cooperation with The Heartland Institute’s Budget & Tax News.

PHOTO: The Supreme Court Building of the United States from the dome of the capitol building. Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Farragutful. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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