“The Texas occupational licensure regime, predominantly impeding Texans of modest means, can seem a hodge-podge of disjointed, logic-defying irrationalities, where the burdens imposed seem almost farcical, forcing many lower-income Texans to face a choice: submit to illogical bureaucracy or operate an illegal business?”

Former Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett in Patel v. Texas Department of Licensing and Registration.

The Commission to Study and Review Certain Penal Laws was originally created in the 84th Legislature and renewed in the 85th in an attempt to address approximately 1,500 laws outside of the penal code that create a confusing system without a clear roadmap for citizens to easily understand if they are in compliance with the laws of the state of Texas.

The Commission found that occupational licensing laws not only produce barriers to entry, but also subject Texans to criminal penalties, heavy fines, and even jail time. Below is the report detailing the findings and recommendations of the commission.