Press Release: Time to Tear Down Barriers in South Dakota

Time to Tear Down Barriers in South Dakota

Group hails Gov. Daugaard’s commitment to repeal unneeded occupational licensing requirements to empower workers and entrepreneurs

Pierre, SD – Americans for Prosperity-South Dakota (AFP-SD) is hailing the commitment of Governor Dennis Daugaard to eliminate unnecessary occupational licensing laws. Governor Daugaard spoke in favor of eliminating licensure requirements in Sioux Falls in front of U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta.

South Dakota ranks 22nd for the most burdensome licensing laws. Occupational licensing laws amount to little more than government permission slips to work. These unnecessary licensing mandates burden entrepreneurs, costing hardworking South Dakotan’s time and money and mostly serve as measures to limit competition and the free market.

AFP-SD state director Don Hagger released the following statement:

“We applaud Gov. Daugaard’s commitment to roll back unnecessary work licenses. It’s not just massage therapists, as Governor Daugaard mentioned, that are burdened by these unnecessary roadblocks. For instance, cosmetologists in South Dakota have to comply with 490 days of training, the most of any state in the nation. And title examiners, a profession only licensed in six states, pay $800 in fees, nearly three times more than the average state. Occupational licensing mandates hurt South Dakota.

“South Dakotan’s should be free to pursue the American Dream. By repealing unneeded license requirements and honoring licenses obtained in other states South Dakota will open the door for job growth and entrepreneurship that will make our economy stronger.”

14 Replies to “Press Release: Time to Tear Down Barriers in South Dakota”

  1. MC

    Generally, I agree. However if the industry would like to maintain some kind license or certification program, they can. I don’t support the state administrating any such program, the industry will have to set up their own governing framework.

    1. Anonymous

      Private certification would be a free-market solution as long as it is not required or favored by law.

    2. Anon

      That’s the point, MC. If the industry wants to regulate themselves, great. The government has no business determining who can do what jobs.

    3. Emoluments Clause

      Just how far do you guys want to go with this libertarian fascination? Should we get rid of the street lights on 41st St. in Sioux Falls while we are at it?…. You know, those street lights are a form of government control too…. 😉

  2. Emoluments Clause

    I find it amazing that in an age when members of both sides of aisle are trying to end human trafficking, that our Governor would have such a flippant attitude about the real reason that we require licensing for massive therapists:

    Often political and civic leaders take positions to entertain the majority or what they think can be a created majority thought for the sake of political expediency and often under the generic cloak of claimed liberty, but often these positions are at odds with their other positions, but these political and civic leaders apparently just hope that the public will not notice the contradictions and will instead embrace the “irrational exuberance” of what are actually competing ideas…

    Both political parties are guilty of these contradictions at times and I think they need to be called out when noticed.

    One of my favorite ones happen in Sioux Falls a couple of summers ago, where the SFPD sponsored a sobriety checkpoint on a Friday night in July, then the next night the same police department, with City auspices, escorted and managed the festivities of Hot Harley Nights…. But what did the City of Sioux Falls think then, that these bikers would all just leave such an event as HHN completely sober after having only consumed mass quantities of Kool-Aid and Diet Coke?

      1. Emoluments Clause

        Yes they do. Because if you get rid of the licensing requirement, you invite a reality where massage parlors and outline services could runamoke, and that is how such a mentality could sadly facilitate human trafficking. And in turn, make the work for law enforcement even more challenged.

        It is important to maintain a level of professionalism with this industry, in order, to assure that unprofessional and or ones with other intentions are not allowed to exist merely due to the absence of proper regulation.

        If we got rid of the FDA, do you really thing that your food would be better?

        1. Miranda Gohn


          I know of one legitimate and respected massage school in the Twin Cities where it has offerings in different techniques and standards. The tuition is high too. I’d be irked if I spent all this time, investment with schooling and building a business only to have some fly by night operator come in and not only undermine the reputation of your profession but hurt your bottom line. It is physically demanding and they have to be careful not to injure themselves. There needs to be some type of enforcement with teeth.

          1. Emoluments Clause


            Plus, we all have bigger fish to fry then to worry about whether licensed masseuses are paying too high of fees.

            In an age of collapsing sales tax receipts, I think the last thing our Governor should be doing is trying to find ways to eliminate already established taxes…especially, taxes that often tax a luxury service…

            I also think that this issue just further questions why we even need a AFP chapter in South Dakota. Because it is a futile issue, that has a solvency which will only cause more problems. In my estimation, South Dakota is already a dream world for the Koch Brothers who created AFP. And this issue only further proves that in South Dakota, the AFP agenda is merely the agenda of a Maytag repairman looking for something to do…..

            1. Miranda Gohn


              After work I’d go bicycle race on the road or velodrome in the Twin Cities and competing at a certain level especially being masters age having a good masseuse that knows what they are doing with a good technique makes an incredible difference in recovery and injury prevention especially if they are in a multi-day stage race and one has to perform at work too and pay for all this.

              There are so many great applications for massage and really gained an appreciation for all the disciplines within that profession during that time. It can be expensive but if done wisely it can make a big difference in whatever one is looking to get out of it.

  3. Anon

    Massage therapists is the priority and main example? If this is a big issue, why hasn’t the Gov repealed a bunch of these boards in the last six years? The answer… it’s not a big issue. Good grief.

  4. Anon

    Apparently Miranda Gohn and Emolument Clause have zero understanding of economics. There will clearly be a difference between “fly by night operator” and someone who graduated from a prestigious school. The market will determine which one of them customers ultimately go to.

    And EC’s point about taxes, when did Daugaard or AFP say that massages shouldn’t be taxed?

    The entire idea is that it is not the government’s role to police specific industries. Take cosmetology: If cosmetologists want to prevent bad actors from giving their industry a bad name, the “Cosmetology Association” should come up with their own standards and everyone who achieves that standard can advertise themselves as “CA-certified” as a way to attract customers who may be concerned about standards. BUT, someone who just has a natural skill for cutting hair should be able to do it without any license from the government or certification from an association.

    If it has nothing to do with public safety than the government has no business requiring a license.

    1. Emoluments Clause

      Well, it first depends upon what the market is looking for, if you get my drift….

      As far as taxes, aren’t fees taxes?…. Oh that’s right, we live in a state where a corporate income tax is called a franchise tax…. I forgot, my bad…..

      Oh, you want to talk about cosmetology. I thought my contention was germane to massager therapy? While we are on it, what’s the price of tea in China, right now?

      Since when is the issue of potential trafficking or the potential facilitating of it not a public safety issue?

      And I am just curious, given your definition of what qualifies for just regulation, would guns fit under that public safety requirement for just regulation?….