More and more states are taking on occupation licensing reform, greatly reducing barriers to work

In 2019, Arizona became the first state to enact a bill universally recognizing all out of state licenses. The Goldwater Institute, which had been a great advocate for universal occupational licensing recognition in Arizona, had the following to say about the bill the day it passed.

If you’ve put in the time and effort to obtain a government license so you can work in your field of choice, that license should really mean something, since it’s a reflection of hours upon hours of study and training. But if you hold an occupational license in one state and then move to a new state, you’re required to put in more time and spend more money on training—just to practice your profession in your new home.

That was true in every state—until today. Governor Doug Ducey has signed HB 2569 into law, which makes Arizona the first state to adopt universal recognition for occupational licenses. Sponsored by Representative Warren Peterson, the bill passed both houses of the Arizona Legislature with bipartisan support.

Arizona is welcoming many new residents every day, and this new law will help many of them to continue their careers more seamlessly without having to wait for a new license.

Since the bill passed, the state of Arizona has greatly benefited.

……Arizona’s universal recognition law may be less than a year old, but early data shows that it is already having a tremendous effect. Since universal recognition went into effect in Arizona in September of 2019, over 1100 individuals have applied for and been granted a license to work in fields ranging from cosmetology to engineering. Missouri’s reform builds on the strong foundation laid in Arizona and sets an example that other states should follow.

Other states have followed suit

Arizona’s bill has additionally set a new standard for occupational licensing reform for a lot of states. Just recently. Missouri became the latest state to follow in the footsteps of Arizona to pass a bill recognizing out-of-state licenses. In July, Governor Parson signed a bill that makes it “much easier for out-of-state workers and people with criminal records to become licensed in their chosen field.”

Missouri’s HB2046 allows anyone who has held an out-of-state license for at least one year to apply for an equivalent license in Missouri. The bill also does away with the requirement that “only allowed recognition to licenses with “substantially similar” requirements as well as a provision that enabled licensing boards to deny waivers based on a vague belief that granting a license to an out-of-state worker would “endanger the public health, safety, or welfare.”

Apart from Missouri, many other states like Idaho, Utah, Indiana, and Ohio have passed other versions of reform based on the Arizona model to cover military families or other professionals.

Minnesota can greatly benefit from occupational licensing reform

Compared to other states Minnesota is lightly regulated. However, the burden of licensure has been growing for Minnesota the recent couple of years. And additionally, Minnesota licenses certain occupations not generally licensed in other states, and licenses them onerously. So, at a time when a lot of Minnesotans are out of work, removing unnecessary barriers that prevent people from earning a living would be very beneficial to individuals as well as the economy.