Threats to Professional Licensure: State List
SB 1437: Signed by Governor on 4/5/2017
SCR 1037 is a proposal of an amendment to the Arizona Constitution. This resolution states that a person has a fundamental right to engage in an occupation or profession. No state law or rule shall be enacted or enforced that prohibits or regulations a person from engaging in any occupation or profession unless the state law or rule is clearly necessary to protect the public health or safety.
If enacted, the Secretary of State would submit this proposition to the voters at the next general election as provided by article XXI, Constitution of Arizona.
Known as the Right to Earn a Living Act, SB 1437 restricts Arizona’s regulatory boards from issuing regulations which “on their face or in their effect limit in the entry into a profession or trade,” unless they can be shown necessary to the health and safety of Arizonans. The measure is intended to empower individuals to challenge in court unfair licensing requirements that limit competition and create unnecessary barriers to work. Under this law, all boards that don’t want their rules challenged now must ask the Governor’s Office for approval to proceed with rule making and then send all rules through the Governor’s Regulatory Review Council for approval. Now those agencies rules can be challenged as “creating a burden” for obtaining registration.
Governor Ducey has made reforming occupational licensing a major focus of his administration. On March 29th 2017, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey issued an Executive Order requiring all state licensing boards to report on their minimum requirements for obtaining an occupational license. Should those requirements exceed national averages, the order requires that boards justify them in “specific reference to potential harm to individual Arizonans.”
Passed during the 2016 Legislative Session, HB 2613 was enacted which eliminates several occupational licenses and the related statutes. This measure also requires a cost-benefit analysis and feasibility report concerning the transfer of all non-health regulatory boards, including the Board of Technical Registration to a new division within the Arizona Department of Administration (ADOA). Although the bill did not specifically target engineering licensure, it very much opens the door to changing the organization and operations of state regulatory boards, including the engineering board.
NSPE will continue to work with stakeholders within Arizona to prepare for the next legislative session in order to defeat any potential threats.