Rep Nardone Proposes Reforms to Occupational Licensing in RI



State House, Providence – Representative George Nardone (D 28, Coventry) is proposing to streamline professional credentialing in the State of Rhode Island in the upcoming legislative session. Occupational licensing can often impose high barriers to entry, making it harder to find work or to start a business in the Ocean State (LC004832). According to a report issued by the Institute for Justice, the average license for low- and moderate-income jobs in Rhode Island takes 287 days of education and experience to obtain the proper credentials. The return on investment for many of the licensed professions is not proportional to the income the job ultimately provides (for example cosmetology or hairdressing).  Occupational licensing costs the state’s economy $675M and leads to nearly 7,000 fewer jobs, with Rhode Island ranking the second highest licensing burden in the New England Region (Massachusetts is higher).  Approximately 17% of Rhode Island workers are licensed.


As someone who has conducted business in the State of Rhode Island for the past thirty years, I have a sound understanding of the many layers of complexities that come with running a small business,” said Representative Nardone. “I am introducing this legislation to curb some of those procedures, particularly those that come with licensing requirements.