(Carson City) – Yesterday, Ronnie Najarro, Deputy State Director for The LIBRE Initiative-NV, testified in the Nevada Senate Commerce and Labor Committee in favor of Nevada bill A.B. 275, which would reform the state’s occupational licensing system. The measure would prohibit a regulatory body from denying licensure of an applicant based on his or her immigration or citizenship status. In doing so, it would allow those who do not have a Social Security number – but who do have a Taxpayer Identification Number – to apply for occupational licenses in the state.
Below are excerpts of the testimony:
For far too long, occupational licensing rules have been a barrier for Latino workers looking for opportunities to succeed in the workforce and secure a brighter future for themselves and their families. Occupational licensing requirements can often unjustifiably force people to complete months of expensive training, pay fees or pass exams before they’re allowed to work.
According to the Institute for Justice (IJ), our state has the fourth highest share of lower-income occupations licensed – nearly three quarters – and the second most burdensome requirements to get licensed in those occupations. Every year, this system is costing Nevada 35,000 jobs, $196 million in output and $3.6 billion in misallocated resources, per the same source
Occupational licensure is burdensome policy all-round, and meaningful reform would be good news for all Nevadans. In the meantime, passing AB 275 would represent a small step in the right direction toward removing barriers that stand in the way of Nevadans, by affording non-citizens the equal opportunity they deserve to be able to pursue these professions.