This story has been updated to include comments from Robert Fellner.
(Katelynn Richardson) – Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo signed a pair of executive orders this week freezing new state regulations, his office announced.
The first, Executive Order 2023-003, bars state agencies from issuing any new regulations. It also requires them to review existing regulations and provide a report by May 1, recommending at least 10 regulations for removal.
“Nevada’s current regulatory structure is too often unfocused and inefficient, contains regulations that are obsolete and includes regulations that are unnecessarily onerous, thereby limiting the economic potential of the State,” the order states.
Departments, agencies, and boards are expected to hold public hearings with “key industry stakeholders” to provide input before submitting their reports.
Regulations affecting public health, safety and security, essential agency duties, pending judicial deadlines, compliance with federal law, or the pursuit of federal funds are exempt from the order.
The second order, Executive Order 2023-004, similarly directs Nevada occupational and professional licensing boards to halt new regulations that “limit or otherwise impact the ability [of] persons to enter any occupation or profession.”
Licensing boards are required to provide a report of existing regulations by April 1 under the order.
For professions that don’t require licensing in a majority of U.S. states, licensure will be “presumed to be unnecessary” and boards will need to provide recommendations for phasing out the requirement.
“Nevada has been identified nationally as having among the nation’s most onerous occupational licensing requirements, and it is in the State’s best long-term economic interest to have a fair, open, competitive and inclusive economy,” the order explains.
The order also notes that there are “acute shortages” of employees in core economic sectors, even with “1.7 job openings for every unemployed person actively looking for work.”
Nevada Policy Research Institute Vice President Robert Fellner said Nevada has the most burdensome occupational licensing laws, citing a report by the Institute for Justice.
Fellner told The Center square the occupational licensing order “will create jobs, raise wages, and lower prices for Nevadans.”
“These laws force those who wish to engage in gainful employment to pay alarmingly high licensing fees and spend hundreds of days, if not years, in unnecessary apprenticing or training periods,” he said. “For example, Nevada charges the nation’s highest licensing fees for contractors at over $1,000. Aspiring cosmetologists must undergo 1,600 hours of training, at their own expense—which is over 10 times more than the training required to be an EMT.”
Both orders “reaffirm Governor Lombardo’s commitment to streamlining regulations and licensing processes in Nevada,” according to his office’s Thursday statement.
Katelynn Richardson | The Center Square