(1) It is the intent of the Legislature that persons desiring to engage in any lawful profession regulated by the department shall be entitled to do so as a matter of right if otherwise qualified.
(2) The Legislature further believes that such professions shall be regulated only for the preservation of the health, safety, and welfare of the public under the police powers of the state. Such professions shall be regulated when:
(a) Their unregulated practice can harm or endanger the health, safety, and welfare of the public, and when the potential for such harm is recognizable and clearly outweighs any anticompetitive impact which may result from regulation.
(b) The public is not effectively protected by other means, including, but not limited to, other state statutes, local ordinances, or federal legislation.
(c) Less restrictive means of regulation are not available.
(3) It is further legislative intent that the use of the term “profession” with respect to those activities licensed and regulated by the department shall not be deemed to mean that such activities are not occupations for other purposes in state or federal law.
(4)(a) Neither the department nor any board may create unreasonably restrictive and extraordinary standards that deter qualified persons from entering the various professions. Neither the department nor any board may take any action that tends to create or maintain an economic condition that unreasonably restricts competition, except as specifically provided by law.
(b) Neither the department nor any board may create a regulation that has an unreasonable effect on job creation or job retention in the state or that places unreasonable restrictions on the ability of individuals who seek to practice or who are practicing a given profession or occupation to find employment.
(c) The Legislature shall evaluate proposals to increase regulation of already regulated professions or occupations to determine their effect on job creation or retention and employment opportunities.
(5) Policies adopted by the department shall ensure that all expenditures are made in the most cost-effective manner to maximize competition, minimize licensure costs, and maximize public access to meetings conducted for the purpose of professional regulation. The long-range planning function of the department shall be implemented to facilitate effective operations and to eliminate inefficiencies.