COLUMBUS — State Rep. Jena Powell (R-Arcanum) on Wednesday introduced House Bill 203, legislation that enhances Ohio’s economic competitiveness by enacting occupational license reciprocity.
Under the bill, out-of-state occupational licenses, such as those held by electricians, truck drivers, public accountants etc., would be recognized in Ohio if the individual is in good standing with their profession, maintains a proficient level of work experience, and meets the minimum educational requirements.
“With the right protections built in, Ohio can truly open up its doors to our full economic potential by embracing universal licensing recognition,” said Powell. “Cutting government red tape will further attract businesses and entrepreneurs to our state.”
According to The Hamilton Project, less than five percent of professions nationwide required an occupational license in 1950. Currently, Ohio licenses 651 occupations, which is around 18 percent of professions.
“Universal licensure reciprocity makes sense,” said State Senator Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson), who introduced companion legislation in the Ohio Senate. “If someone has been trained and licensed in one state then they should not have to jump through hoops to be licensed in another state. In theory this is similar to getting a driver’s license. How awful would it be to have to be re-licensed in each state where you want to drive! This bill will say to those licensed professionals, ‘come to Ohio, you and your skills are welcome here.’”
State Rep. Craig Riedel (R-Defiance) and State Senators George Lang (R-West Chester) and Mark Romanchuk (R-Ontario), all co-chairs of the Business First Caucus, support the legislation.
The bill now awaits referral to a House committee.