News from Arizona: Universal Recognition Works
Universal Recognition for occupational licensing burst onto the scene almost a year ago when Arizona enacted its "universal recognition" bill last April. Pennsylvania became the second state to enact universal recognition in late July of 2019.
This year, more than a dozen states, including Nebraska, saw legislation introduced (although none passed yet) which would create universal recognition of licenses in their states. I referred to the hearing on Nebraska's LB1187 here, and the Unicameral Update covered it here. My colleague, Nicole, also posted about LB1187 and the problem of licensing boards and protectionism.
It is, admittedly, sometimes tough to do something new and different, and we understand that–in spite of our one-of-a-kind-unicameral-legislature–there is a certain Nebraska hesitance about being "the first" to do something different.
(Un)Fortunately, not only does Nebraska not have to worry about being the first to enact universal recognition but we are already seeing results in other states that we're missing out on for at least another year. The Goldwater Institute, based in Arizona and a prime driver in the effort there, has put together some information here about the effects of universal recognition in their state.
The bottom line: the sky is not falling, the process is working, and more people who have been licensed or have experience elsewhere are working in Arizona.
Since the new universal recognition law took effect less than a year ago, 751 people have used it to obtain their occupational licenses in fields as varied as cosmetology to construction to dentistry, according to a survey of state licensing entities.
And this all happened since September 1 of last year when the bill went into effect–less than 6 months. Over 750 workers who did not have to jump through additional education, training, or testing requirements to start working in Arizona. Imagine what could happen here in Nebraska!
As we head toward elections this fall, ask your legislators and legislative candidates whether they support occupational licensing reform like that in Arizona and Pennsylvania. Let's make Nebraska a place that people can come to and start working on Day 1!