FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 6, 2018
The Right to Earn a Living Should Not Require Government Permission
Speaker of the House and Governor on Right Track
Providence, RI — In response to a call from the Rhode Island Speaker of the House, and following the lead of the executive branch, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity, in a new report released today, calls on lawmakers to enact reforms to the state’s onerous regulatory regime. Such reforms would provide more workers with the #RIghtToEarn a living without government permission and improve the overall climate for small businesses.
The report, RIght To Earn a Living, lays out the case why many of Rhode Island’s regulatory and occupational licensing mandates should be reformed or repealed, after the Ocean State received yet another bottom-10 national ranking in a late 2017 Institute for Justice report.
“Millennials and many other Rhode Islanders dream, too. The future of our state’s workforce and our capacity to attract commerce is at stake,” warned Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the Center. “Increasingly, ‘gig’ and ‘shared’ economies will be the basis on which individuals and families will seek to cobble together a living, yet our state and municipal governments continue to discourage such work with a heavy-handed, overly burdensome regulatory approach. This must change.”
In his prepared remarks to open the 2018 Rhode Island General Assembly session, Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, in recognizing that the business community is “the engine that drives the economy,” called for “more progress made in the area of regulatory reform,” because our state “can and must be more friendly to businesses.”
The Center concurs. In its report it recommends specific steps that the legislative branch can take, effectively following the lead of the executive branch’s Office of Regulatory Reform (ORR), under Governor Raimondo, which itself is in the process of implementing aggressive new reforms that deal with regulations promulgated by state agencies.
The RIght To Earn a Living report, which provides a philosophical overview of proper and improper occupational licensing practices, also:
- Highlights the often dubious motives behind specific regulatory mandates
- Makes a connection to our state’s poor ranking on the Family Prosperity Index
- Describes many specific examples of over-regulation
- Includes is a sortable table of Rhode Island’s rank in 102 low-to-moderate-income licensed occupations
- Summarizes the positive steps that ORR is taking
- Recommends a number of broad and specific legislative solutions
Additional links to compelling videos and other pertinent information about regulatory reform can be found on the Center’s home page for the occupational licensing issue: RIFreedom.org/RIghtToEarn.