Gov. Snyder’s Much-Needed Move on Licensing

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Gov. Rick Snyder recently sent a letter to Michigan House Speaker Kevin Cotter and Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof explaining some of the problems of occupational licensure. This is a much-needed move.

Regulatory rules in Michigan, particularly for small business owners, are onerous. Occupational licensure laws require people to pay a fee and complete state-approved training before they are legally allowed to practice a trade. The public benefits of these laws have widely been found to be dubious.

The governor’s letter lists his principles for new laws. Most importantly, this includes ensuring that not requiring a license would be harmful to the public, licensing fees would cover the state’s costs, and no alternative to state regulation exists (like private accreditation). 

We applaud these principles and urge legislators to apply them to proposed future laws as well as licensing rules already on the books.

Editor’s Note: This is a shortened version of a Mackinac Center Viewpoint, available online at