WI AFL-CIO: Koch Brothers Attack Safe Licensing


The Koch Brothers are pulling the strings of Wisconsin legislators yet again. Ideological Republican legislators in Wisconsin have picked-up and pushed multiple bills developed by the Koch Brother network to attack, weaken and undermine safe professional and occupational licensing standards in Wisconsin. De-licensing proposals have been backed by the Koch Brother organization Americans for Prosperity and the anti-worker Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty.

Reckless proposals, outlined below, will intentionally undermine our state licensure system which protects both workers and consumers.

Value of Licensing: State licensing provides the critical link between the customer and professional. Wisconsinites have come to trust that we will receive high quality work by licensed professionals. Whether it is electricians, plumbers, barbers, radiology technologists, or welders, the public can rest easy knowing that these workers have been adequately trained, tested and licensed by the state to ensure high-quality, safe service for all consumers as well as a safe, stable workplace for every worker.

When someone enters an exam room, turns on the air conditioning, or takes a drink from a bubbler, they can rely on the state licensure of the worker behind the service because that licensure means that the professional has been trained and tested for the job.

Licenses also protect the safety of the worker and the integrity of the industry. Wisconsin’s trained workers rely on the value of their licenses, ensuring that their colleagues and co-workers have also received training and appreciate high safety standards, as well as ensuring a consistent work product. State licensing protects the industries within Wisconsin as the industries have been built by trained employees and therefore ensure the skills are high, so that consumers don’t question entire industries or their skilled workforce.

Weakening or eliminating licensing standards will lower wages and lower quality.

What You Can Do: As you go about your daily life this holiday season, think about how many people you come into contact with occupational licenses that provide you and your family with a safe service or reliable good. Think about the value behind the license you have come to expect and appreciate. As you are reconnecting with family and friends, talk about safe licensing standards and the systematic attacks on safe professional licensing standards currently in the legislature.

A lot is happening behind closed doors in our state capital and flying under radar. Many people may not be aware these bills are out there to weaken whole industry standards.

Make a call to your legislators at 1-800-362-9472 and tell them you support safe licensing standards and oppose any legislation (outlined below) that calls into question safe, quality services that consumers have come to expect in Wisconsin.


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