Former Representative Kelley Packer is no stranger the complicated process to obtain licenses for a variety of occupations in Idaho. As a legislator, she reviewed rules and requirements frequently. Now, she’s looking at the process through a new lens.
Packer’s new role as the new chief of the Idaho Bureau of Occupational Licenses was announced earlier this month. She says she is ready to start cutting out unnecessary, redundant and onerous regulations which create barriers to obtaining licenses in our state.
In Governor Little’s first State of the State Address earlier this month, enthusiastic applause erupted from the crowd when the new Governor committed to “working closely with the Legislature… to fulfill all recommendations from the Licensing Freedom Act – reducing regulatory burdens and improving customer service while protecting the public.”
In May of 2017, when Little was acting-Governor, he issued an Executive Order entitled the Licensing Freedom Act, which “ordered a comprehensive review of all state occupational licensure laws and regulations to determine whether existing state licensure requirements are necessary and in the public interest.”
In October 2018, Little issued the Licensing Freedom Act Report and Initial Recommendations, a document which now serves as a road map for Packer to move forward to ensure the recommendations are fulfilled.
Q & A with the new bureau chief: Kelley Packer
We asked the new chief a few questions about her new role and this important effort.
Here is what she had to say:
Idaho Conservatives (IC): Congratulations on your new position. How do you feel about this role?
Kelley Packer (KP): I’m really excited for the new opportunity I’ve been given and grateful for the trust Governor Little has placed in me.
IC: What are you doing to kick off the effort to fulfill the recommendations in the Licensing Freedom Act Report?
KP: We’ve got a great plan to reduce barriers to licensing, remove unnecessary regulations and deregulate some of the aspects of obtaining licenses here in our state.
For example, we proposed some rule changes in the second week of the session to make licensure easier here in Idaho if someone is licensed in another state and to allow more coursework to be completed online, which is great for many Idahoans in rural areas.
IC: It sounds like there is a lot to be done, but that you’ve got a great plan.
KP: A lot of hard work has already been done by the team and the previous director. We share Governor Little’s goal to implement these recommendations. A lot of hard work went in to determining how to begin streamlining processes and reducing burdens on the hard working people of Idaho. I’m excited to be part of making this happen.
Holly Cook earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Economy from the College of Idaho, has been active in Idaho politics for several years, and enjoys writing political commentary and news.