Arizona's new universal licensing law became effective Sept. 1. Judging by the first several days of implementation, it's a big success.
More than 40 applications were already filed and waiting to be granted approval at the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners offices. Other state offices reported similar application influxes.
The universal licensing law allows residents to work in their chosen profession in Arizona if they have received a license to practice in another state.
Previously, people would have to undergo certification and testing in their field in the state if they wanted to practice in Arizona. The new law, signed by Gov. Doug Ducey in April, simplifies the process and improves Arizona's business friendliness, something Ducey said he wanted in his 2019 State of the State address.
“If people want to work, let them work,” he said.
About one in 4 jobs requires some sort of government-issued license today. Sixty years ago, that number was one in 20.
Free-market groups have praised the legislation as an innovative move that reduces barriers to work.
Arizona saw 122,000 people move to the state from 2017 to 2018, the fourth highest amount in the county, which some attribute to the state’s low unemployment rate and access to jobs.
The new law is the first of its kind in the country.
Other states, such as Michigan, have passed licensing reciprocity laws in recent years, but they applied only to military spouses.
“It’ll be interesting” to see if similar legislation catches on in other states, Jarrett Skorup, director of marketing and communications at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Michigan, told The Center Square in April. “It’s [an issue] that a lot of the local in-state industry groups fight about.”