Connecticut Chosen For Occupational Licensing Policy Study

September 26, 2017

Deputy Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Kevin Witkos (R-Canton) today applauded Connecticut being selected as one of 11 states to participate in an occupational licensing policy study.

Connecticut was chosen to participate in a peer learning consortium focused on occupational licensing policy according to project partners the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center), and the Council of State Governments (CSG). Sen. Witkos wrote a letter of support in August on behalf of Connecticut being selected for the program (attached).

“This is an important opportunity for Connecticut to look at new ways to remove barriers to employment,” said Sen. Witkos. “I look forward to seeing Connecticut excel in this unique effort to work with other states and learn about the policies that work best to grow our workforce and help individuals with specific skill sets access good paying jobs.”

As a member of the consortium, Connecticut elected officials and experts will study occupational licensing policy here at home, learn about occupational licensing best practices in other states, and begin implementing actions to remove barriers to labor market entry and improve portability and reciprocity.

In Sen. Witkos’ letter of support, he explained the efforts Connecticut had already taken this year to cut the red tape that has become an obstacle to employment, and the need for continued work.

“This past legislative session, my Democratic counterpart Senator Bob Duff and I, worked together to craft bipartisan legislation that reduced the number of occupational licenses needed in our state,” wrote Witkos. “We did this because we realize that creating impediments to the work force that have no relation to public health or safety simply make it more difficult for those seeking employment to do so.  Unfortunately, due to the efforts of special interest groups looking to protect the limited number of people that can apply for such jobs, we were only able to eliminate six licenses – but it’s a start.  We hope to continue this effort next session and with the assistance that would be provided from the NGA eliminate even more hurdles to employment for the resident of our state.”

Over the next three years, the states will engage with one another in a structured, peer learning consortium in which they will be able to share ideas and solutions to complex occupational licensing issues. Learning consortium states will benefit from a variety of resources and tools to help states identify strategies to reduce labor market barriers and improve the portability of occupational licenses.

The consortium states will focus on some of the populations most burdened by occupational licensing including skilled immigrants, people with criminal records, active duty military, veterans and their spouses, and unemployed and dislocated workers. Each state will work to identify areas of their occupational licensing policy that may be creating extra barriers to entry for these populations and will examine potential solutions to reduce related barriers.

Witkos Support NGA OL Application