A conservative lobbying group is reportedly behind most state efforts to loosen child labor laws

Child hands from working brickyard in Afghanistan
(Image credit: Majid Saeedi/Getty Images)

Several states are moving to roll back child labor protections, arguing that laws limiting where, when, and how long youths can work deprive teens of helpful job experience and tie the hands of parents. But much of this push is coming from a conservative Florida think tank, the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA), and its lobbying arm, the Opportunity Solutions Project, The Washington Post reports. And the organization is having quite a bit of success among Republicans on the state level.

FGA-backed child labor legislation is advancing in Iowa, Missouri, Ohio, Minnesota, and Georgia this year. But the group's "biggest victory" on this front so far was in Arkansas, helping design and push through a law that eliminates work permits and age verification for workers younger than 16, the Post reports. "That law passed so swiftly and was met with such public outcry that Arkansas officials quickly approved a second measure increasing penalties on violators of the child labor codes the state had just weakened."

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