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Occupational licensing reform hits South Dakota

Dozens of professions across the state are about to see a new change as it relates to the hiring process.
Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 7:43 PM CDT
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PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Legislation has recently gone into effect that will lessen government involvement in the hiring process for dozens of professions.

The intention of the legislation is to help ease the financial burden on both producer and consumer, some more established workers worry about some of the drawbacks.

“I’ve been in the business for over thirty years, and I grew up in this salon because my mother and my sister had it before me.” said Joanne Dodson, owner of Beauty Boutique in Pierre.

Changes are coming for workers and business owners alike. Governor Kristi Noem has signed into law five bills that streamline the process to get an occupational licenses in the state.

“Everyday there are regulations in place that are a burden on businesses, a burden on families, and they end up driving up costs, on products then customers end up taking (more) money out of their pockets.” Noem said.

The laws do such things as strike the high school graduation requirement from certain professions, and lower the requirements to get into certain fields. While change is welcomed, stylists like Joanne worry about too little oversight becoming a problem.

“Its high to get the licenses, but then again there are professions where it is way more than that... the less regulation they have, would probably help a little bit but you know, I don’t mind being watched over and inspected.” Dodson said.

Inspections of businesses by the state aren’t going anywhere, and Joanne hopes that the trade itself won’t be affected.

“It’s really important to learn everything, we have to learn the veins, the arteries, everything in the head, hands, and feet. Nobody is supposed to touch your hands, head, and feet except a beautician.”

Critics of occupational licensing say that they are an unnecessary barrier to entry for employment.

These are the five bills that went into effect July 1st:

SB 10 revises certain provisions regarding cosmetology licensees.

SB 11 revises certain provisions regarding third-party insurance plan administrators.

SB 12 revises certain provisions regarding comity licensure in the technical professions.

SB 13 revises certain educational requirements for the practice of barbering.

SB 23 repeals the high school graduation or equivalent requirement for certain licensed professionals.

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