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For Immediate Release 02.16.2018

Governor Hutchinson Names Working Group to Study State’s Occupational Licensing Regulations

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has appointed a working group to study the state’s occupational licensing requirements with a goal of identifying any regulations that may be an unnecessary barrier to those who want to enter a trade.

The Red Tape Reduction Working Group will examine occupations and trades that require a license and identify the occupations the state could eliminate from licensing requirements without compromising the safety of consumers.

The working group will include five members each from the Senate and House and five people the governor has appointed. The panel follows months of work by representatives from the executive and legislative branches to set the stage for this deregulation reform.

“I want to do everything reasonable to help all Arkansans have the opportunity to pursue an occupation or start a business,” Governor Hutchinson said. “Where possible, I want to cut the red tape and costs of entering a new occupation. In some occupations, testing and a license are necessary for the safety of consumers. But the cost of a license or certificate for some trades may be an unnecessary financial barrier for someone who wants to pursue that occupation.”

The members of the working group are state senators John Cooper (co-chair), Missy Irvin, Jane English, Trent Garner, and Bart Hester; state representatives LeAnne Burch, Bruce Cozart (co-chair), Milton Nicks, Jeff Williams, and Richard Womack; governor’s appointees Bill Gossage, the governor’s deputy chief of staff for external affairs; Dr. Charisse Childers, director of Arkansas Career Education; Leon Jones Jr., director of Arkansas Department of Labor; and consumer representatives Lula Dixon and Bob Kucheravy.     

The task force will present its recommendations to the governor in the fall.

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