The Occupational Freedom and Opportunity Act has finally passed both the Florida House and Senate and awaits Governor Ron DeSantis’ signature. According to Florida Politics, the legislation has been attempted in previous years but failed until now. One of its many long-time supporters is the Governor himself.

This legislation will have a large impact on many workers in the state. According to the Florida Politics article: 

A wide swath of professions, ranging from cosmetology to interior design, would be affected in the legislation.

Auctioneers, barbers, and geologists would have fewer education requirements, with nutritionists and boxing announcers seeing some licensing requirements eliminated completely. 

Hailed as the “most ambitious occupational deregulation package in state history,” the Occupational Freedom and Opportunity Act will deliver on the promises of its name — taking away unnecessary barriers for Americans to work and earn a living. 

Across the country, many Americans are kept from entering certain professions due to unreasonable and unnecessary requirements. From extensive schooling to required hours of experience, along with all the costs associated with extra education and time away from other work, many states have created barriers to work for their own citizens. 

Instead of allowing the free market competition to provide the best quality work for consumers, state licensing boards lock individuals out of certain professions through often arbitrary requirements. This is done in the name of “public safety” but really serves to reduce competition and choice for consumers. 

Here at IWF, we’ve been working to encourage states to realize how many of their regulations are unnecessary, particularly through our Chasing Work campaign. We celebrate and applaud the leadership of Florida lawmakers to help Americans work, especially at a time when so many Americans have been placed in difficult financial situations due to COVID-19. We hope that many other states will follow their lead and make it easier for Americans to get to work.