December is a busy time in the legislature. Not only is it the last month of the legislative session, but it is the last chance that a bill has to make it to the Governor’s desk. That means that my colleagues and I are working to make sure that good bills don’t make it to the end without passing.
Currently, I am working on getting one of my bills through the Senate that would prohibit home owner’s associations from restricting the display of military service flags. The need for this bill came to my attention after a Marine in my district told me he was being harassed by his HOA for displaying his pride in his service. When I heard his story, I knew what they were doing was wrong and that I needed to step in and help.
In addition to bills that would help this service member, we are working on legislation that would drastically change how we do professional licensing in this state. A few years ago, I began trying to find ways that my colleagues and I could reduce the size of government, and make sure it better served the needs of the people. I introduced legislation that would begin combining similar professional licensing boards and immediately I met resistance. When I tried to explain that I was trying to save the State some money, one stakeholder had the audacity to tell me, “what are you talking about, licensing fees are not real money.”
I am happy to say that the tenor at the statehouse has changed since then. There is currently a bill that would consolidate 15 similar boards down to five. By combining boards that license similar trades together, we can find cost savings and potentially have the first professional licensing fee reduction in our nation’s history. There are concerns, though, that this proposal may lead to some professions losing some of the voice that they had in regulating their own professions.
But CLICK HERE to tell me what you think. Do you think this is a good idea or do you think that we need to keep the separate boards to differentiate between different trades? Your feedback is always appreciated.