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Congress quietly seeks to help states fix occupational licensing headaches

After several years of failed occupational licensing reforms at the federal level, Congress passed the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act last week with overwhelming support. The bill marks the first step towards comprehensive reform, and given the Trump administration’s support of licensing reform, governors may soon have new resources available to reduce burdensome occupational licensing regulations across the country.

The wide-ranging bill includes the New HOPE Act, introduced by Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Mich., in 2016, which allows governors to use existing federal funds for technical education to review licenses or certifications that pose an unwarranted barrier to entry into the workforce and do not protect the health, safety, or welfare of consumers.

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