AZ: Arizona At Forefront With Job Licensing Change

25 Mar, 2019

Arizona is on the verge of becoming the easiest state in the nation for out-of-state residents to relocate and get to work.
A bill on occupational licensing that is part of Gov. Doug Ducey’s legislative agenda cleared the state House this week. In essence, it allows those people holding licenses in other states to use that license to qualify for an Arizona license.
Work licenses are pervasive in our state and country, with some estimates saying that about a third of all jobs require a license. Licensing requirements are there to protect health and safety, though they are often seen as a way of keeping newcomers out of a particular field. At the least, for the applicant, they are time consuming and costly.
The Arizona measure is being lauded by out-of-state media as the first of its kind in the country. The publicity is such that it should make skilled workers in other states put Arizona near the top of any relocation plans.
Arizona needs the workers and the new law, if approved, would make the state much more attractive to many people.
The bill imposes limits and conditions, though, including criminal background checks and examinations on Arizona laws if required by the specific license.
The goal is to reduce bureaucracy. As the Wall Street Journal opined:
“Arizona already recognizes many out-of-state licenses for military spouses, but starting over is tough for everyone else. In 2017, the Institute for Justice ranked the Grand Canyon State fourth worst in the nation for the burden and breadth of licensing requirements with 68 categories for lower-income workers such as manicurists, carpenters, emergency medical technicians and school bus drivers.”
Nurses and plumbers and barbers don’t lose their skills when they cross the state line.
This broad licensing change isn’t the only occupational license bill moving through the Legislature. Another deals with whether someone who shampoos and dries hair needs a cosmetology license. They shouldn’t. A bill would provide some common-sense loosening of the requirement.
The state has more important things to do and to spend its money on than regulating the use of hair brushes and blow dryers.
That’s exactly the kind of thinking that needs to be undone with the broader license recognition bill.