WAVE 3 News Editorial - March 7, 2017: Occupational Licenses

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - If you are a convicted felon in Kentucky and want to obtain an occupational license to be a doctor or lawyer you can, but you can't if you want one to be a barber or four dozen other professions.

Doesn't seem fair, and the Kentucky Senate didn't think so either. The Senate passed a bill giving occupational licensing boards the choice to decide whether a prior offense should preclude an individual from obtaining a license. The board could still deny a license but the denial wouldn't be automatic as it currently is, and there would be an appeals process as well.

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We encourage the House to pass Senate bill 120. Felons certainly have a better chance of not returning to prison if they get a job, and there are well over 100,000 jobs available in Kentucky right now that are unfilled because there are not enough skilled workers to fill them.

Helping people who have paid their debt to society reenter the workforce is a smart and humane thing to do. We would much prefer they be employed and paying taxes than be back in prison with taxpayer support.

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