Senate Bill 1224 — Elimination of weighmaster license

Senate Bill 1224 — Elimination of weighmaster license

by
Lindsay Atkinson
January 14, 2020
Lindsay Atkinson
January 14, 2020

Bill description: SB 1224 would eliminate the licensure requirement for Idaho’s weighmasters, while at the same time creating a new retention requirement for tare tickets.

Rating: +1

Does it increase barriers to entry into the market? Examples include occupational licensure, the minimum wage, and restrictions on home businesses. Conversely, does it remove barriers to entry into the market? 

This bill would remove the licensure requirement for Idahoans who operate scales used to weigh agricultural products. Currently, individuals have to be 18 or older, “of good moral character,” and pay a licensing fee of $10 to be qualified as weighmasters. But the regulatory burden imposed on those in this occupation is heavy compared to any potential public safety benefit. Eliminating the weighmaster license would reduce the burden on the employees of roughly 700-900 businesses in Idaho. 

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Additionally, since this bill eliminates an occupational license, it thus eliminates the ability for the Director of the Department of Agriculture to deny workers in this occupation a license. Currently, the director has discretion to refuse a weighmaster license to anyone “for dishonesty, incompetency, inaccuracy, for any false statement made in any part of the application for a weighmaster's license.” Under this bill, Idahoans wanting to work as weighmasters would no longer be denied entry into the occupation by the government. 

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Does it give government any new, additional, or expanded power to prohibit, restrict, or regulate activities in the free market? Conversely, does it eliminate or reduce government intervention in the market? 

This bill includes the addition of a new retention requirement for tare tickets. The new requirement regulates activity in the free market by requiring that all weighmasters and weighing facilities keep all tare tickets for three years. Instead of having free reign on when to dispose of the ticket showing the weight of measured products, facilities would instead be required to keep them for years. 

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This bill also removes an exception to the standard weighing system that has been granted to sugar beet companies for decades. The changes made by this bill would entail that sugar beet companies have to conform to the use of a standard weight ticket, and would no longer be able to use an IBM card for the weighing of sugar beets. Though some may consider IBM cards to be outdated (a system of punching holes into a physical paper card), this bill would nonetheless still restrict the ability of companies to use the weighing record they choose in the free market. 

(-1)

Does it directly or indirectly create or increase any taxes, fees, or other assessments? Conversely, does it eliminate or reduce any taxes, fees, or other assessments? 

Since a component of this bill is the elimination of the weighmaster license, it thus entails an elimination of the fee associated with this license. The current fee for this license is $10. If this occupational license is eliminated, those who work in this type of employment would have another $10 each year in their own pockets. 

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