Republicans in the Arizona state legislature are considering a bill that would diminish the overall influence of the boards that regulate the professional licensing of engineers, certified public accounts, cosmetologists, barbers, and several other types of jobs that require state approval.
Gov. Doug Ducey declared his support for the bill during his annual state of the state address last month. Having previously signed legislation in 2019 that expanded licensing reciprocity, Ducey now looks to reform the process for licensed professionals across the state.
Senate Bill 1274, proposed by Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, R-Scottsdale, would drastically reform the legal requirements that new professionals must meet to join a licensed field.
SB 1274 would restructure "the statutory membership of the Arizona Board of Technical Registration, the Board of Barbers, the Board of Cosmetology, the Arizona State Board of Accountancy, the State Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers and the Board of Massage Therapy."
Ugenti-Rita, chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, advanced the bill. SB 1274 is structured so that the governor would appoint people to the boards who aren’t licensed professionals, therefore making them comprise majorities on the boards that set the professional standards and decide the minimum qualifications to join such a field.
Occupational licensing reform is a policy phenomenon that enjoys the support of both Democrats and Republicans across the country. However, labor groups, including groups that represent professionals that are regulated by these boards, have all come out against the passage of SB 1274.
Ducey serves as the marquee endorser to SB 1274 and is expected to sign it into law later in the legislative session if it passes.
SB 1274 now advances to a second reading and debate phase before a final vote. The House is expected to pass the bill with very little opposition and fulfill a portion of the governor’s legislative agenda.