Arizona setting an example re: licensing laws

Monday, April 15, 2019
Chris Woodward (

Arizona flagShould states follow Arizona's lead in passing occupational licensing reform? One public policy analyst thinks so.

Governor Doug Ducey (R-Arizona) signed legislation last week that says Arizona will recognize occupational licenses from other states. The state was already doing this for spouses of military personnel deployed to Arizona, but The Grand Canyon State is now doing so for all residents who move there from another state.

"This is going to be big for Arizona's economy," thinks Jameson Taylor, Ph.D. of the Mississippi Center for Public Policy. "If states want to grow and attract new people, especially states like Mississippi that are having trouble keeping the people that are already here, they need to follow suit and reform their occupational licensing laws."

According to Taylor, more than 33 percent of all jobs today in the U.S. require an occupational license compared to ten percent in 1970.


"This is something that states have to clean up," Taylor continues.  "Mississippi has been a leader in this area, but they have not done anything close to what Arizona is doing."

The bill signed by Governor Ducey issues public health and safety protections for jobs that require background checks or other safety requirements. For example, text in the legislation reads,

"The person is currently licensed or certified in at least one other state in the discipline applied for and at the same practice level as determined by the regulating entity and the license or certification is in good standing in all states in which the person holds a license or certification."

Meanwhile, boards will have room to determine what transfers.

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