House Bill Would Allow Out-Of-State Occupational License Holders To Work In Arizona

Published: Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - 5:19pm
Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - 8:55am

Arizona could be the first state in the country to allow people with out-of-state occupational licenses to practice without taking an exam. The objective of the bill is to encourage more people to come to the state and find work easily.

“We’re telling people from other states if you have a license, your skills don't end when you cross the border, when you come into Arizona. You still have those skill sets and we want to put you to work right away,” said Rep Warren Petersen, Republican House Majority leader from legislative district 12 in Gilbert and Queen Creek. He sponsored the bill to allow people who declared residency in the state to use their existing license.

HB 2569 would allow a person with an out-of-state license for at least one year to practice their profession in Arizona as long as they abide by the outlined stipulations, including being a current certified or licensed professional in good standing and does not have any pending complaints, allegations, investigations relating to unprofessional conduct.

The bill was heard in the House Regulatory Affairs committee on Monday and passed with a narrow vote of 4-3.

Rep. Powers Hannley, a Democrat from legislative district 9, opposed the bill because the minimum duration of having a license was only one year. Also, because there wasn’t clarity in the bill on the terms of residency classification.

“I truly believe that if other folks were to be able to come here and compete into our markets, I feel like our people should be able to compete in theirs as well,” said Rep. Amish Shah , a Democrat from legislative district 24. He supported the intent of the measure because he knows how cumbersome it is to get licensed in every state. But, he opposed the bill because he wants other states to reciprocate by recognizing Arizona licenses. And since the bill had the word “reciprocity” in the title, he refuted that and wanted to work with Petersen to correct it.

If the bill passes on both legislative floors, it would extend a law that allows military spouses to practice in Arizona using their out-of-state occupational license to more Arizona residents. The bill granting military spouses to do was a bipartisan effort in the state a of couple years ago, sponsored by now U.S. Sen. Krysten Sinema when she was a legislator.

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