Michigan Could Deregulate 18 Occupations, Eliminate 9 Boards

"The Advisory Rules Committee carefully considered the public health and safety benefits of 87 different occupations. We found that there were at least 18 occupations that did not require regulation," said Shelly Edgerton, deputy director of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

The Michigan Office of Regulatory Reinvention (ORR) has released to the public its report to Gov. Snyder containing 63 recommendations for improving Michigan's occupational licensing regulations. In addition, ORR recommends the rescission of all or parts of 23 separate occupational rules and the amendment or revision of many more. Snyder has reviewed the recommendations and ORR and Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) will now work toward implementing the recommendations.

ORR formed the recommendations after a comprehensive review process, including convening an Advisory Rules Committee of stakeholders that included lawyers, occupational association professionals, business owners, policy analysts, academics, and senior officials from LARA.

Last month, ORR released another report recommending changes to 334 separate Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) rules exceeded federal standards. The recommendations contemplated the rescission of more than 611 distinct MIOSHA requirements (this includes entire rules or parts of rules).

"According to a 2007 study, Michigan is the sixth most heavily regulated state with respect to occupational licensing. This study found that for each occupation that a state regulated, that occupation would experience a decrease in the rate of job growth by 20 percent on average," said Steven H. Hilfinger, chief regulatory officer and LARA director. "Occupational regulations, while in many cases necessary to protect consumers and public health, operate as a barrier to entry into a given profession. This inhibits entrepreneurship and restricts competition, leading to increased costs and decreased levels of service for consumers."

ORR recommends the complete deregulation of 18 occupations, representing 17.3 percent of occupations regulated by the state of Michigan. ORR recommends the elimination of five more licensing provisions, as well as the elimination of nine occupational boards and further exploration of eliminating 11 more boards.

"The Advisory Rules Committee carefully considered the public health and safety benefits of 87 different occupations. We found that there were at least 18 occupations that did not require regulation. These regulations provide little or no significant protection to the public," said Shelly Edgerton, deputy director of LARA. "In addition, we found that there is ample opportunity to streamline Michigan's licensing processes. These recommendations will reduce the size and cost of government and lead to better customer service for licensees."

The 18 occupations recommended for deregulation are:

  • Acupuncturist
  • Auctioneers
  • Community planner
  • Consumer finance services
  • Dieticians and nutritionists
  • Forensic polygraph examiner
  • Forester
  • Immigration clerical assistant
  • Insurance solicitor
  • Interior designer
  • Landscape architect
  • Ocularist
  • Professional employer organizations
  • Proprietary school solicitors
  • Respiratory care
  • Security alarm contractors
  • Speech pathologist
  • Vehicle protection product warrantor

The nine occupational boards recommended for elimination are:

  • Board of Acupuncture
  • Board of Auctioneers
  • Board of Carnivals & Amusement Rides
  • Board of Dietetics & Nutrition
  • Board of Occupational Therapy
  • Board of Respiratory Care
  • Board of Speech Language Pathology
  • Osteopathic Medicine Advisory Board
  • Ski Area Safety Board

While ORR recommends abolishing the Carnival Amusement Safety Board, it recommends that licensing and inspections should continue and fees should be increased to be sufficient to cover administrative costs of regulation. Similarly, ORR recommends that Ski Area Safety licensing and inspections should continue and fees should be increased to be sufficient to cover administrative costs.

"The Advisory Rules Committee was very deliberate in weighing the public health and safety implications of deregulation," said Roger Newton, founder, President, and CEO of Esperion Therapeutics Inc. in Plymouth, Mich. "I think these recommendations create a more business-friendly environment and eliminate unnecessary government oversight that does not provide any value to the citizens of Michigan."

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