Model Legislation: Collateral Consequences in Occupational Licensing Act (CCOLA)

Institute for Justice

(August 2021)
Collateral Consequences in Occupational Licensing Act cover page

As the Institute for Justice states, while a job is one of the best ways for people with criminal records not to re-offend, many occupational licensing laws block or burden ex-offenders. According to the Institute, many licensing laws have morality clauses that (1) bar automatically and permanently ex-offenders from working without any individualized review or (2) require the ex-offender to prove a negative—that the ex-offender’s past crimes will not cause him to harm customers in the future.

To increase public safety and opportunities for ex-offenders, the Institute developed the model legislation, "Collateral Consequences in Occupational Licensing Act (CCOLA)," inclusive of the following provisions:

  • It allows an ex-offender to petition a licensing board at any time—including before investing in training—for a determination that the ex-offender will not be disqualified from gaining a license because of his criminal record;
  • It limits disqualifications to convictions directly related to the license; and
  • It places the burden on the state to prove the ex-offender should be disqualified.