The NASBA Legislative Support Committee is getting ready to increase its efforts to make clear to legislators that all professional licenses are not the same, such as those for CPAs, hair braiders and tree trimmers. Led by Mountain Regional Director Nicola Neilon (NV), the Legislative Support Committee (LSC) has been working with Director of Legislative and Governmental Affairs John Johnson to create a multi-pronged approach to educating policy makers and the general public to the threats created by a blanket anti-regulation approach to occupational licensing.

Using a report by the Institute of Justice as the information source for its November 25-26, 2017 editorial, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) named as the “10 states with the highest number and worst average burden of occupational licensing requirements”: 1- California, 2- Nevada, 3- Arkansas, 4- Arizona, 5- Hawaii, 6- Louisiana, 7-Virginia, 8- Oregon, 9- Washington and 10- Rhode Island. The WSJ editorial went on to state: “The cost and time to obtain a license is no accident, as professional guild members sit on licensing boards and reinforce the racket. They want to limit competition to keep prices high.”

Director Johnson observed: “We must acknowledge that the debate around what professions and occupations should continue to require licensure is one that is here to stay and it is one that must be engaged in. At the same time, however, the accounting profession must differentiate itself and seek to be removed from a broad-brush approach, when possible, through increasing the trust and appreciation that anti-regulatory groups may have for the accounting profession.” The LSC is looking to do this through developing robust communications, forming collaborations with other learned professions and providing training for State Board members and State Society leadership.

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