HJR 17: A Constitutional Amendment to Protect the Right to Work
This bill died in the House Judiciary Committee.
Five years ago, Representative Brian Greene sponsored legislation designed to ensure that occupational licensure laws are justified and narrowly tailored. A committee that oversees licensure laws was tasked to ensure that they are “narrowly tailored to protect against present, recognizable, and significant harm to the health or safety of the public.”
This year, Rep. Greene has sponsored House Joint Resolution 17, a constitutional amendment designed to recognize the inherent right of a person to engage in their desired occupation free from government interference, unless the regulation is justified on this basis. The amendment reads:
Government may not infringe on the individual, inalienable right of the people to pursue an honest trade, vocation, occupation, or career, unless the infringement is narrowly tailored to protect against a present, recognizable, and significant harm to public health or safety.
Constitutionally protecting an individual’s right to work will better ensure that regulations are narrow and justified. We previously published a policy brief covering this issue, along with a video discussing some concerns with occupational licensure more generally.