U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) released the following statement after his New Hope and Opportunity through the Power of Employment Act (New HOPE Act) passed the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions as part of a bill to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act earlier this week.


“Hardworking Texans shouldn’t have to deal with overly-burdensome licensing requirements holding them back from well-paying work,” said Sen. Cornyn. “This bipartisan legislation allows states to reduce barriers of entry to many occupations, allowing job-seekers to save time and money while making it easier to gain meaningful employment.”


Senators Cornyn and Gary Peters (D-MI) introduced the New HOPE Act, a bipartisan occupational licensing reform bill that will help states decide if they want to eliminate or reduce burdensome licensing requirements that are serving as an impediment to job creation. A bill that included language from the New HOPE Act, introduced by Representatives Tim Walberg (R-MI) and Henry Cuellar (D-TX), passed the U.S. House of Representatives last year.


Background on New HOPE Act:


Overly burdensome and unnecessary state licensing mandates can require an individual to first pay fees, complete education and training programs, and even sometimes pass exams before they can enter some of the very professions most suitable to giving them a chance at meaningful work.  Many of these licenses have little grounding in protecting public safety.   States should review these occupational licensing regulations to ensure they are promoting opportunity and fostering a regulatory climate that encourages entrepreneurship and job creation.


The bill provides additional authority to state governors receiving an existing, bipartisan appropriation of discretionary funds for career and technical education, giving them the discretion to use this money for the identification, consolidation, or elimination of licenses or certifications which pose an unnecessary barrier to entry for aspiring career and technical education workers and provide limited consumer protection.


Senator John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, is a member of the Senate Finance, Intelligence, and Judiciary Committees.