As the Idaho housing market continues to boom, complaints about substandard general contractors and shoddy building practices are on the rise. Many argue that contractors should be required to obtain a license from the state and further licensing laws are the best way to protect Idaho’s citizens from bad contractors. On the other hand, during Gov. Brad Little’s State of the State address, he discussed his intentions to work with legislators to enact reforms to state occupational licensing laws, claiming it will reduce regulatory burdens and improve customer service. So what’s the right strategy for Idaho?

It turns out, there is a wealth of evidence that shows licensing presents problems of its own that lead to higher costs and little to no changes in quality of service. Other solutions, like certification or adding an experience requirement to Idaho’s registration process, are a better path forward.

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