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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ind. Law - Still more on: "Hairdressers may have killed bill that would eliminate licensing"

Updating this ILB entry from Jan. 26th, and this one from Jan. 25th, the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette has an editorial today headed "Clipped bill a caution to lawmakers." Some quotes:

Don’t mess with the man or woman who cuts your hair.

That’s the lesson Hoosiers are left with after state Rep. David Wolkins pulled his bill that would have removed licensing requirements and largely deregulated a handful of professions, including barbers and cosmetologists.

Wolkins was not out to hurt beauty schools or beauticians. He offered the bill after the Regulated Occupation Evaluations Committee – a relatively independent group the legislature appointed – began its evaluations of the various professions that the state licenses.* * *

And lawmakers really need to decide whether the committee it created should continue evaluating all of the state’s 35 licensing boards. In the first round, the committee reviewed seven boards, recommending keeping three and eliminating four. The committee did just what the legislature asked, and with Wolkins pulling the bill, the legislature is ignoring the recommendations.

This Jan. 26th ILB entry pointed out that this review group is not an interim committee, but an independent, permanent, staffed, Regulated Occupations Evaluation Committee (ROEC), created by the General Assembly in 2010 to review and evaluate each regulated occupation at least every seven years.

In the past the General Assembly has enacted similar laws providing that not only state agency rules, but state agency programs and even the agencies themselves will expire unless they are readopted every seven years. These laws are generally impractical to implement in practice (for instance, many environmental rules are amended continually, so how do you determine review dates?) and review quickly becomes cursory, pushed-forward, or worse.

"Or worse" happened last year with the state's massive FSSA, which was allowed to go out of existence by oversight. There were many stories about that at the time. But as the ILB pointed in this July 10, 2011 entry:

Four years ago, at the end of 2007, the very same FSSA laws expired and apparently no one noticed! There was no statutory basis for the FSSA for months, until the laws were restored, retroactively, by actions of the 2008 General Assembly.
With this newest, 2010 law, at least the agencies do not expire automatically. But the legislature has already lost interest, while the law will continue to require review and action. Next year, the committee's recommendations re real estate, auctioneer, and plumbing occupation requirements, to name only a few, will be before the General Assembly. And the following year, a new group, etc. As the FWJG opines today: "[L]awmakers really need to decide whether the committee it created should continue evaluating all of the state’s 35 licensing boards." Or is the 2010 review law itself a waste of time and money?

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 29, 2012 01:43 PM
Posted to Indiana Government | Indiana Law