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HomeSpotlight Story | Bird’s Eye View | Budget & Taxes | Politics & Leadership | Governors | Hot Issues | Once Around the Statehouse Lightly
In his January State of the State address, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) called on lawmakers to pass legislation that would make the Grand Canyon State the first to accept out-of-state professional licenses. Lawmakers responded by sending him HB 2569 last week, a measure he quickly signed.
“You don’t lose your skills simply because you pack up a U-Haul truck and make the decision to move to Arizona,” Ducey said at a press conference announcing the signing.
The new law applies to any profession that requires a professional license, allowing anyone with an unblemished professional history in their state to automatically ply their trade in Arizona.
The bill drew opposition from critics that argued some states have easier licensing requirements, potentially allowing less-qualified doctors, hair stylists and home inspectors to take advantage of Arizona consumers.
“We have shortages in teaching, medicine and nursing, we know that,” Democratic Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley said during the House debate over the proposal. “But we don’t have shortages across the board. So why should we dumb down our standards when it’s really not necessary to build up the workforce?”
Some licensed pros said the new law could also lead to direct harm.
“Flatirons are 400°F,” said Cindy Rogers, a Phoenix-area cosmetologist. “They can burn your hair off in a minute. The customer has no recourse.”
But bill supporters countered that the state’s restrictive licensing requirements are not as much about consumer protection as about giving licensed pros a way to keep down potential new competition. It is a theme Ducey has echoed as well. He has regularly called the state’s licensing boards “bullies” who only care about protecting their “cronies.”
Other states also allow license reciprocity, but only for military spouses. Arizona, for now, becomes the only state to honor another state’s professional licenses across the board. (ABC15 [PHOENIX], ASSOCIATED PRESS, WASHINGTON POST)