02/11/2019

On Occupational Licensing, Texas Is Again The ‘Lodestar State’ For Legal Reforms

Jonathan Zalewski, The Daily Signal

Texas has been at the forefront of state prison and criminal justice reform since 2007, but it isn’t resting on its laurels.

By reforming its criminal justice system, Texas has sensibly and carefully reduced its prison population, cut state spending, and expanded prisoners’ access to drug and mental health treatment and to education programs—all of which have reduced crime and recidivism rates and improved people’s lives.

Other states, as well as the federal government, have followed Texas’ lead by implementing similar criminal justice reform policies in recent years.

Now, Texas is once again leading on key issues by analyzing and reconsidering some of its laws that hinder Texans’ ability to pursue a livelihood, a right guaranteed to all Texans by both the state and federal constitutions. Many of those laws carry criminal penalties for those who violate them.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Jonathan Zalewski

Jonathan Zalewski@JMZalewski

Jonathan Zalewski is a visiting legal fellow and Koch associate at The Heritage Foundation.


Texas has been at the forefront of state prison and criminal justice reform since 2007, but it isn’t resting on its laurels.

By reforming its criminal justice system, Texas has sensibly and carefully reduced its prison population, cut state spending, and expanded prisoners’ access to drug and mental health treatment and to education programs—all of which have reduced crime and recidivism rates and improved people’s lives.

Other states, as well as the federal government, have followed Texas’ lead by implementing similar criminal justice reform policies in recent years.

Now, Texas is once again leading on key issues by analyzing and reconsidering some of its laws that hinder Texans’ ability to pursue a livelihood, a right guaranteed to all Texans by both the state and federal constitutions. Many of those laws carry criminal penalties for those who violate them.

The liberal Left continue to push their radical agenda against American values. The good news is there is a solution. Find out more >>

According to Matthew Mitchell, an economist and senior research fellow at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, any aspiring worker in Texas who wishes to enter a profession that requires a license is “required to spend [an average of] 341 days in training and pay $253 in fees before he or she may obtain a license.”

Moreover, Mitchell added, as of 2015, “nearly one in four working Texans—24.1 percent of the state’s workforce—was required to be licensed.”

That’s a lot of time, money, and energy that is often wasted on government bureaucracy.

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