As part of Iowa’s Koch problem, the Republican-controlled legislature is set to dismantle licensure requirements that protect consumers. Iowa law currently requires various professionals to be licensed in order to practice in the state. However, a bill slated to be debated on Monday would remove this requirement.
House Study Bill 138 would remove the licensing requirements for mental health counselors, marital and family therapists, social workers, dietitians, athletic trainers, and so on. Removing these protections leaves ordinary Iowans vulnerable.
The principal argument that has been advanced in defense of the bill is that the costs of licensure are burdensome to those who wish to enter such professions. If that is true, then they should address that problem directly. For example, the government could subsidize the training and licensing of mental health professionals and social workers, and they could allow for deferred payment of licensing fees for other professions. These would be socially responsible solutions. Simply removing the requirement that these professions be licensed is reckless and irresponsible.
The best opportunity to kill this bill is in committee
If it goes to the floor, there is little reason to believe that Republicans will legislate with the best interests of ordinary Iowans in mind. They have clearly demonstrated that their chief concern is to advance the interests of profit-seeking capitalists.
Here’s what you can do
- The most effective way to demonstrate opposition to this bill is to show up in room 304 of the State House on Monday at 2:00 PM and speak against the bill. As a citizen of Iowa, you are entitled to attend committee meetings and public hearings on bills. Consider arranging a carpool with friends. You could make a day of it; there are numerous other terrible bills being considered by various committees that day.
- The second-best thing to do is to contact the representatives who serve on the committee and explain to them why they must reject this bill. Click here for the full list of committee members.