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Report: State should deregulate 18 occupations

Associated Press Modified: April 16, 2012 at 10:45 am •  Published: April 16, 2012

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan regulators should increase safety inspection fees for ski resorts and carnivals rides while dropping oversight of auctioneers and acupuncturists and eliminating nine occupational boards, a new state report says.

The Office of Regulator Reinvention report recommends that fees be raised for any licensed professions and activities for which current fees aren't covering the state's costs. The report, obtained in advance by The Associated Press, doesn't recommend specific increases, and lawmakers would have to approve any hikes. The 110-page report was released Monday morning.

A spokeswoman for Boyne Resorts, which run some of Michigan's major ski resorts, said her organization had not heard enough about the proposal to comment. Erin Ernst said resort officials are seeking more information.

Besides the higher fees for state oversight, the report recommends deregulating 18 occupations, ranging from dietitians to acupuncturists, auctioneers, foresters, landscape architects and speech pathologists. Those jobs represent about 17 percent of occupations regulated by the state.

Oversight would continue for around 1 million individuals and entities involved in about 75 other occupations. Licensing and Regulatory Affairs licenses or regulates health care professionals, barbers, cosmetologists, residential builders, real estate brokers and funeral directors, among others.

LARA director Steven Hilfinger said the state must continue providing oversight in areas that affect public safety. But given Gov. Rick Snyder's push to get rid of outdated or unnecessary regulations, the director said, the review made it clear some occupations no longer needed state oversight.

"We were focused on the ones that didn't provide much public safety benefit," Hilfinger told the AP.

Rose Baran, an assistant professor of pharmacy practice at Ferris State University who served on the Occupational Licensing Advisory Rules Committee, said the committee didn't remove occupations from oversight lightly but saw a need for change.

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