CLEAR Resource Brief: How Sunrise Reviews Help Keep Regulation Focused on Health and Safety

CLEAR News, CLEAR Resources,

by Kathy Sanchez and Elyse Smith Pohl, Institute for Justice

"Licensing professionals face a daunting challenge: effectively and justly balancing public health and safety with freedom of occupational practice. Whether in the course of rulemaking, enforcement, or advising lawmakers, licensing professionals can strive to strike the right balance by drawing upon evidence to identify substantiated threats and appropriate solutions. A model for such evidence-based analysis is provided by sunrise review, a little-studied process some states use to evaluate the need for new occupational regulations.


Our findings provide evidence for the existence of many licenses that are not justified by public health and safety. And while sunrise is no magic bullet for the problem of over-licensing, our findings also suggest that sunrise can thwart, or at least delay, some unnecessary licenses. Finally, our findings point to some best practices for effective sunrise."

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