SALT LAKE CITY — Utah's Department of Commerce has launched a new office to review professional licenses for everything from construction and cosmetology to real-estate and medicine.
The agency has launched an Office of Professional Licensure Review that will examine every single type of license the state requires and make recommendations to the legislature on whether it is necessary, or if restrictions are too much or not enough.
"We look at every proposal for new licensure in the state," said Jeff Shumway, the office's new director. "We also look at every license in the state every 10 years."
Professional licensing can be used to ensure public safety and that the people who hold such licenses are qualified to do the jobs they are paid to do. But lawmakers have questioned whether Utah's licensing regulations are too strict, or if some professions truly need state licensing.
Utah Department of Commerce Executive Director Margaret Busse told FOX 13 News the new office will be able to react to market conditions.
"We will determine what is prioritized, really based on what’s going on in our economy," she said. "Where there are maybe shortages of workers. One example is mental health. We know we have a huge mental health crisis. We don’t have enough workers. Do we need to look at that license to figure out how we can address that?"
As much as 25% of the state's workforce (or roughly 300,000 people) is subject to state licensing standards.