Do We Need a Second Sunset Commission?

Texas’ Sunset Advisory Commission has the responsibility of reviewing all licensing agencies every twelve years to determine if the agency is still needed.  They make recommendations to the legislature.  Every licensing agency automatically goes out of business unless the legislature specifically reauthorizes the agency.  The legislation establishing the license and the licensing agency has to be re-passed every twelve years.

So why do we need SB 1185, filed by Sen. Don Huffines (R-Dallas), that requires the Texas Workforce Commission to study every state licensing agency every ten years and report to the legislature whether or not the licensing requirement “serves as a barrier to entry into the workforce.”

What happened to the idea of streamlined government?  Two different agencies to perform the same or similar tasks?

The proposed legislation is clearly biased against occupational licenses.

The bill requires the Commission to specifically seek input from “parties who favor decreasing or repealing occupational license requirements” and requires that the following issues be specifically evaluated:

  • Cost, competition and consumer prices resulting from licensing
  • Harm to consumers who purchase goods or service from licensees
  • Consider if the occupation is capable of self-regulation without government intervention
  • Consider alternatives to licensing
  • Consider if the license is protectionist
  • Consider the social costs
  • Consider the effect of repealing the licensing requirement

The bill does not require seeking input from the licensed occupations or parties who favor the licensing requirement.  The bill does not require the Commission to determine if the licensing requirement provides protection to the public.

We need less bureaucracy, not more!  The Sunset Advisory Commission is already charged with the responsibility to answer the important question: “Are the agencies functions needed?”  Let them do their job and leave the Workforce Commission out of the sunset business.

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