Idaho Lt. Gov. Brad Little, serving as acting governor today, signed an executive order to launch a review of Idaho’s occupational licensing requirements, after a big legislative fight this year over changes to cosmetology licensing that ended up being vetoed by Gov. Butch Otter. “To my knowledge, we have never reviewed many of these licenses,” Little said. “From this last legislative session, it’s clear that we need to take a comprehensive look at our practices, and how and why they were implemented.”
Little, who is running for governor in 2018, titled his executive order the “Licensing Freedom Act.” Under it, state agencies are required to submit a report to the governor’s office by July 1, 2018, assessing whether existing occupational licensing requirements are necessary and in the public interest, and also addressing recommendations for improvement, modification or elimination.
Little also announced a website and email address for the public to provide input on concerns about occupational licensing. “I’d like to hear directly from those who are affected by licensing requirements,” Little said. “I realize they might not want to report directly to overseeing agencies, so this will provide an outlet for them to freely express their ideas and concerns. Government always needs to do its part to protect citizens, but it also must make sure it does not interfere where it’s not needed.”
Little held a press conference in the governor’s office to issue the executive order; he was joined by state Sens. Todd Lakey, R-Nampa, and Fred Martin, R-Boise, who both are supporting the move.
Little is serving as acting governor while Otter is out of state for his grandson’s graduation from a high school military academy back east; he’s been acting governor since noon Thursday, and will continue in the role until Otter returns Sunday evening.
Idaho’s lieutenant governor is acting governor whenever the governor is out of state or incapacitated, and when serving in that role, has the full power of the office. However, Little did discuss the planned executive order with Otter in advance. Jon Hanian, Otter’s spokesman, said, “He supports it wholeheartedly.”