Ohio’s state government has overreached, creating unnecessary barriers to some professions and burdening businesses, state Sen. Robert McColley said Monday in Findlay.

McColley, R-Napoleon, highlighted a bill passed last December to review the 250 occupational licenses in Ohio with a view to reducing some of their requirements.

Cosmetology licensing, for example, requires 1,500 hours of training, exceeding the amount needed for an emergency medical technician, he said.

Some other occupational licenses also may involve excessive requirements, McColley said in a speech to Findlay Rotary Club.

“Many of these professions are professions that typically are filled by low-income people, people who have these skills, who are ready, willing and able to work and for one reason or another, whether it be through overburdensome continuing education or overburdensome certification process, those people are unable to obtain the training and certification necessary to make a living here in Ohio,” he said. “And that’s wrong.”

McColley and other lawmakers are working on a bill to reduce costly regulations on businesses.

A George Mason University study found that Ohio had the “second or third highest” amount of regulations among a sampling of 23 states, he said.

The new legislation would seek to eliminate redundant, overzealous regulations. Lawmakers are trying to reduce Ohio’s regulations by 30 percent, to make it more comparable with its peers, he said.

Separately, in a question-answer period, McColley was asked whether he was open to the state seeking a federal waiver allowing it to pay no more for pharmaceuticals than do Mexico or Canada.

“That would take millions and millions of dollars out of the (Medicaid) budget,” said the questioner, Bill Ruse, former chief executive officer of Blanchard Valley Health Association and an elder statesman of health care.

McColley demurred.

“I don’t disagree that the price of drugs is high,” he said. “But at the same time, in my view, (with) cost controls we have to be real careful because in some cases they may limit innovations and they may limit the amount of money that these companies are willing to spend on (research and development) or the amount of money they are willing to spend on developing new breaking edge products that we need to see in our medical system.”

McColley said lawmakers are working on reforms for pharmaceutical benefit managers who purchase much of the medications under Medicaid and Medicare for Ohio.

“They have been taking us to the cleaners for a little while,” McColley said. “So it’s time we put some oversight into that process.”

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