Oftentimes, government permission to work forces job seekers to complete a number of burdensome requirements, such as training, examinations, and fees. Supporters argue that these burdens improve product quality and consumer safety, however, research demonstrates that those claims are questionable.

Licensing does, however, act as a barrier to opportunity, making it harder to achieve the American Dream. Research has shown that occupational licensure, which places a particularly high burden on low to moderate-income professions, reduces economic mobility and contributes to poverty.

Louisiana law and administrative codes are chock-full of burdensome regulations that keep countless Louisianans from realizing their full potential. Some of the most offensive examples of these regulations are expansive and burdensome occupational licensure requirements to pursue their dreams. Occupational licensure is a fancy way of saying government permission slip to work. All states require some form of occupational licenses, but few are as aggressive as Louisiana.

Louisianans work hard, but the government stands in the way of many people from finding work. The Pelican State requires a license to work in 77 out of 102 low to moderate-income professions, tied with only one other state for the highest. Likewise, we lead our region with the highest percentage of professionals who need an occupational license. From alarm installers to florists, the state’s licensing laws place an inconceivable burden on those trying to find work under the guise of consumer protection.

We must act to protect Louisianans’ right to earn a living. People should not have to pay hundreds of dollars and spend countless hours just to be able to get government permission to provide for their families. It’s time for Louisiana law to promote work, not put-up barriers to opportunity for the people that need it most.