January 28, 2020

Reducing Barriers to Occupational Licensing for Floridians with Past Criminal Convictions

This post was last updated on September 29, 2021. As new policies are announced, FPI will update this page.

As Florida’s response to COVID-19 takes front and center, concern grows for low-income families who struggle to take precautions against the spread of the virus. Although Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to address, at least in part,  the public health crisis and economic fallout from COVID-19, many barriers continue to keep struggling families from accessing the assistance they need during the pandemic. As Florida initiates policies implementing the Act and addressing other barriers to the safety net, FPI will update this form. When available, hyperlinks are provided to agency documents or statements that provide greater detail  about the new policy.

On March 22, 2020, FPI and 44 other organizations sent a letter to Governor DeSantis, leadership in the Legislature and agency heads to urge action on 47 specific policy changes to reduce unnecessary barriers for Florida’s safety net programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the letter here.

Floridians with past criminal convictions experience significant barriers when entering the workforce. Current regulations contribute to Florida’s rank as having the fifth most burdensome requirements for occupational licensing in the nation, according to the Institute for Justice.

Florida Over-Regulates Professional Licensing

  • Florida heavily regulates several occupations, such as drywall installation contractors, that are not regulated in many other states.
  • On average, Florida requires more training hours and imposes higher fees to be eligible for licensing exams, which can easily be a financial hurdle for those who have been incarcerated and have meager or no source of income.

Why Does This Matter?

Many Floridians with criminal histories are being left out of Florida’s economy. Nationally, former inmates are paid at least 40 percent less than those who were not incarcerated.

Downloadable Resources

There are no attachments currently.
No items found.