Arizona will now recognize out-of-state occupational licenses
PHOENIX — Arizona will now recognize professional licenses issued by other states after Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation into law Wednesday.
House Bill 2569 provides universal recognition for occupational licenses in an effort to remove barriers for employment.
Arizona is the first state in the nation to allow for the broad recognition, according to the governor’s office.
Ducey was joined by Arizona state Rep. Warren Petersen and other local and community leaders in signing the bill.
“Too often, our government has acted as an adversary, not an ally, for people who want to work. Well today, those days are over,” Ducey told attendees at the state Capitol.
“We believe (the law) could be a model for the country on how to unleash economic opportunity and how Republicans and Democrats can work together to get things done.”
Arizona will automatically grant a professional license to someone who becomes an Arizona resident and had a similar license for at least a year in another state without disciplinary action.
The proposal passed the Senate on an 18-11 vote April 4, following earlier approval by the House.
All Republicans and a handful of minority Democrats supported the plan.
Opponents were concerned another state’s lower standards could affect Arizona’s professional standards.
Republican Sen. Heather Carter said she was assured medical professionals could not expand their scope of practice above what their previous license approved.
Ducey first called for the measure in his January State of the State address, saying professionals moving to Arizona should not face job barriers.
The Republican governor has aggressively attacked the state’s professional licensing boards.
Licensing generally comes with an education requirement, paperwork and fees.
Differences in requirements from one state to the next can make it expensive and time consuming to work when a licensed professional moves to another state.
Arizona’s licensing boards can test only for information specific to Arizona law.
It applies almost universally to the long list of licensed professions in industries including health care, dentistry, construction, real estate, hair care and funeral embalming. The only exceptions are lawyers, security guards and private investigators.
Similar legislation to cut licenses for hair stylists in Arizona who only provide blow-drying, curling and shampoo services has been sent to Ducey’s desk.
The so-called “dry bar” bill passed the House on a 31-26 party-line vote Tuesday.
The Senate had approved Scottsdale Republican Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita’s legislation in February with a bipartisan 21-9 vote.
It drew strong opposition from licensed cosmetologists and their state association, who argued that even though the shops don’t cut or dye hair, licensing is needed for health and safety.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Griselda Zetino and The Associated Press contributed to this report.