When the issue of licensing is discussed among contractors, the air is often filled with charges and countercharges about whether licensing works, and who benefits the most. It's an important debate, because most states have either instituted licensing in one form or another, or are considering doing so. According to a 1987 survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders, 32 states now require registration or licensure of building contractors. In addition, in states that do not have statewide licensing laws, licensing is required by many local jurisdictions. Most state legislatures discussed the issue during their 1988 legislative sessions, with deliberation of bills to initiate licensing or to strengthen existing requirements. The advantages and disadvantages of licensing are difficult to measure,