Iowa's licensing requirements are making it harder for Iowans to start new careers and make a living. Getting a paycheck a few months sooner is much better than paying for a few more months of school.
When a Central Iowa casino shut down due to COVID-19, our friend, Carla, was out of a job. She decided to use this time to become a hairstylist.
However, after looking into Iowa's licensing requirements, she needed 2,100 hours of training through a cosmetology school. Most of this training was cutting hair for the school's customers.
If Carla wanted to just shampoo hair, she would have to pay for the same 2,100 hours. Think about it. She would have to borrow $15,000 to $20,000 to learn how to safely shampoo hair! Something most of us do every day.
Sadly, Carla's Story is not Unique
It's pretty simple. When more Iowans are working, the state has a more robust economy.
What would create more workers? Job licensing reform. The state's licensing requirements are making it harder for Iowans to start new careers and make a living.
Before COVID-19, Iowa had one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. To help fill those jobs, legislators and the Governor changed some occupational licensing laws to:
- Recognize the license or experience a person obtained in another state
- Waive fees for low-income Iowans
- Give applicants with criminal histories a second chance at a good career.
Now, as Iowa's economy starts to recover, more should be done to help Iowans get back to work.
Governor Kim Reynolds recently said, "We still have more work to do. In my condition of the state address, I called for a complete review of Iowa's licensing regulations to identify and eliminate licensing requirements that are outdated, redundant, or really have no impact on public health or safety."
We agree. Iowa needs to continue reform with a complete review of job licensing regulations to:
Requirements that are outdated, redundant, and have no impact on public health or safety.
Iowa doesn't know if the regulations are still relevant or how they compare with other states, which might result in an unnecessary burden placed on the back of Iowa workers.
Continued licensing reform such as reducing the number of hours Carla needs to train would save her, and many other Iowans, time and money.
Getting a paycheck a few months sooner is much better than paying for a few more months of school.