(The Center Square)— The universal occupational licensing law in Arizona has been fairly popular, according to new data.
The Goldwater Institute released on Sept. 12 that over 8,000 people have been given licenses in the state, and the think tank attributes that number to the fact that there are no longer regulations on someone’s professional licensing when they move from one state to another. This makes it easier for people in a variety of fields to start practicing in Arizona, as the state boards have to recognize licenses from other states if their standards are comparable or better than those set locally.
In addition to the number of licenses issued, the Common Sense Institute of Arizona issued a new 2023 report that the law has helped foster economic growth. The law, also known as H.B. 2569, was signed into law by former Gov. Doug Ducey in 2019.
Since it became effective in late 2019, the institute estimates that 13,100 jobs have been “created or supported” as a result, and $1.3 billion in generated “annual economic activity.”
When it comes to the future success of the law, the report states that it will continue to grow and has a projected $3.3 billion in “annual economic activity” and will create 33,190 jobs by 2030.
“Universal recognition of out-of-state licenses has been successful so far: the annual pace of recognition has been consistent for three and a half years now, and there’s been no evidence of a reduction in service quality or increased risk of public safety,” the report states. “If the program continues attracting workers at this rate over the next decade it will generate more than $3 billion in new annual economic activity for Arizona.”
Although it has enticed people to come to the state, there is still a process for people to register in the state, including background checks when required.
“The new law DOES NOT recognize other states’ occupational licenses automatically. For example, workers licensed in other states who move to Arizona still must apply for a license through the appropriate Arizona licensing board before working. However, under the new law, workers will not be required to duplicate training and other requirements that often needlessly delay or prevent them from getting to work,” the Arizona State Board of Technical Registration website states.
CSI estimates that 30% of the state’s workforce needs licensure.