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Missouri Licensing Law a Good Example for Arkansas

By Caleb Taylor

Should Arkansas follow Missouri’s lead on occupational licensing?

ACRE Policy Analyst Alex Kanode and ACRE Scholar and UCA Associate Professor of Economics Dr. Thomas Snyder discussed in “Show-Me the way” (published in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on October 22) a recent occupational licensing reform bill passed by the Missouri legislature, known as universal licensure recognition.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), universal licensure recognition allows individuals with licenses earned in one state to be valid in another state as long as certain residency, testing and background check requirements are met. 

Kanode and Snyder write:

Gov. Mike Parson of Missouri signed into law House Bill 2046 in July, which makes it easier for licensed professionals from other states, such as Arkansas, to work in Missouri. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Derek Grier, called it ‘a way for us to fill the workforce needs that we have in our state today without costing a dime.’ 

Good for Missouri. Now let’s follow its lead. 

Universal licensure recognition allows professionals licensed in other states to quickly get a license in Missouri. Boards can still require background checks and a nominal fee, but for the most part, Missouri will trust other states’ licenses with education and experience.”

You can read the rest of the op-ed here.

Arkansas’s occupational licensing burdens are measured in this research paper entitled “The Effects of Arkansas Occupational Licensure Regulations” by Snyder. 

Snyder was a co-author of “The State of Occupational Licensing: Arkansas” with researchers from the Mercatus Center. This report gives an overview of occupational licensing in Arkansas and makes suggestions for reform.

For more on this topic, check out our labor market regulation research page.