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ASU researcher says Arizona licensing law could spur US economy

(Getty Images/Spencer Platt)

PHOENIX — An Arizona State University researcher has argued that Arizona’s approach to universal license recognition could help reinvigorate a struggling U.S. economy.

Last April, Arizona became the first state in the nation to enact universal licensing recognition.

Since Gov. Doug Ducey signed House Bill 2569 into law, Arizona has allowed universal recognition for occupational licenses in an effort to remove barriers for employment.

“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,” Ducey said during a signing ceremony.

Stephen Slivinski, senior research fellow with ASU’s Center for the Study of Economic Liberty could not agree more — especially amid the outbreak of COVID-19.

Slivinski believes that current licensing policies in place around the country hinder productivity by adding “possibly thousands of hours of duplicative training, or thousands of dollars’ worth of additional fees” to both professionals and businesses.

He not only believes such policies are particularly detrimental within the context of the current health crisis, but also that the elimination of such licensing polices could help the U.S. economy recover from the coronavirus outbreak.

Slivinski also says emergency declarations enacted in other states that have quickly relicensed doctors ought to become law.

“The kinds of impacts you’re expecting to see when you liberalize laws like this are exactly what we are seeing… More medical professionals going to where they’re most needed,” he said.

Such measures could allow physicians assistants and nurse practitioners more freedoms for treating patients and ultimately benefit consumers, Slivinski claims.

By maintaining current licensing laws, Slivinski argues states are “keeping qualified professionals out of occupations longer than they should.”

“Just because they’re crossing a state line and moving into a new state doesn’t mean they need to be subject to a lot of duplicative hours of training and new fees.”

Slivinski believes lobbyists and special interest groups are responsible for many of the roadblocks facing widespread universal licensing recognition, claiming that such policies limit their ability to control competition.

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