With little fanfare, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens signed SB 240 into law on June 28. You're forgiven if that bill number doesn't ring a bell immediately, because even though we've talked about it in the past, it generally did not rate in the media as a particularly newsworthy reform. To us, however, it is.
SB 240 reforms the state's licensure rules for electricians, generally decoupling them from the patchwork of local licensing rules in favor of a statewide system that removes artificial local barriers to entry for the profession. We have talked about the problems of various interstate licensing laws that often serve to block qualified professionals, including doctors, from practicing across state lines; SB 240 attacks a similar problem, intrastate licensure barriers.
We applauded the legislature for passing the bill back in May, and we extend that praise to the governor now that the bill is signed. But I do think there was a missed opportunity here, or at least that an opportunity has been missed for the time being. SB 240's signing was, perhaps inadvertently, buried by the pre-July 4th holiday weekend alongside three other bills. And since the Governor has been very aggressive on social media in explaining important bills to the public, I do think that SB 240 rises to a level that merits publicity. Keep in mind, the legislature and the governor have actively pushed the idea of lowering regulations and imposing fewer licensing barriers on hard-working Missourians; it seems to me that this reform provides an excellent opportunity to bring the public up to speed on that initiative and explain why it's so important.
But while the opportunity has been missed so far, it's always possible that the Governor's media shop plans to talk at greater length about the bill in the near future. Regardless, free marketeers should be delighted with the signing of SB 240, and I hope it's the first of many reforms in the pipeline.