Governor Ralph Northam and House of Delegates Speaker Kirk Cox announced legislation yesterday that would launch a pilot program to “remove burdensome and unnecessary regulatory requirements facing hard working Virginians.”
“We have a responsibility to constantly evaluate every regulatory requirement and policy to ensure that it is doing its job in the least restrictive way possible,” said Northam in a press release.
Added Cox: “We know that red tape hinders entrepreneurs, innovators, and small and large businesses alike from creating more of the good paying jobs that our people need. This pilot program will significantly reduce regulations in two heavily-regulated areas and lay the foundation for further efforts to reduce regulations across state government, helping our economy and making government more efficient at the same time.”
House Bill 883 creates a three-year pilot program to be administered by the Department of Planning and Budget. The program will focus on the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation and the Department of Criminal Justice Services, with a goal of reducing or streamlining regulatory requirements, compliance costs and regulatory burdens by 25 percent.
Professional licensure requirements have come under heavy fire in recent years for restricting job opportunities for lower income Virginians, and the Northam-Cox initiative follows a number of bills taking aim at specific regulations. Reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
On Monday, the House passed a bill to specify that hair salon workers who only clean, style or blow dry hair do not have to get a state-issued license. It also specifies that shampooing is not among the more sensitive chemical treatments that require extra government oversight.
“We don’t need to be regulating shampoos,” said Del. Mark Keam, D-Fairfax, the bill’s sponsor. “I don’t know about you, but I don’t want big government in my hair.”
Del. Nick Freitas, R-Culpeper, brought his daughter, Ally, onto the House floor Monday as a living argument for why the state should not include hair braiding it its cosmetology regulations.
When her friend provided her with a beautiful hair braid, she decided to compensate her with a dollar,” Freitas said. “And that is when her descent into crime began.”
Bacon’s bottom line: If we can decriminalize petty traffickers in marijuana, surely we can decriminalize shampooers and hair braiders!
Occupational licensing is a good place to start the regulatory rollback. The heavy hand of government isn’t oppressing big businesses here. It’s thwarting ordinary Virginians — typically lower-income Virginians with fewer job opportunities — from entering heavily regulated occupations and earning a living. Reform should appeal to free-marketeers and social justice warriors alike.
The bipartisan backing of this legislation is encouraging. If the pilot project proves successful, perhaps the experiment would provide impetus for deregulation of other sectors of the economy.There are currently no comments highlighted.