The Grand Canyon State is about to make a grand move with a monumental bill, awaiting one last signature. The Arizona House and Senate passed a bill recently week that recognizes out-of-state occupational licenses, allowing for reciprocity for current occupational licenses.
Reciprocity for Military Spouses is Not Totally New in Arizona
The reciprocity bill is not a novel idea in Arizona. Senate Bill 1458 was passed in April of 2011 for military spouses specifically. The bill states that SB 1458 military spouses are to be granted reciprocity, “TO THIS TITLE WITHOUT AN EXAMINATION TO A PERSON WHO IS MARRIED TO AN ACTIVE DUTY MEMBER OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES AND WHO IS ACCOMPANYING THE MEMBER TO AN OFFICIAL PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION TO A MILITARY INSTALLATION LOCATED IN THIS STATE” if certain requirements apply such as holding a license in another state in good standing for at least a year, that an examination was passed previously to obtain the license, or that there are no complaints or allegations against them.
The Current Arizona House Bill Opens the Doors for Military Spouses Even More
The current language of the House Bill 2569 specifically goes beyond military spouses, adding that the bill applies to anyone who establishes residence within the state. There are certain necessities – the person must have a current license for that occupation for at least one year in another state, no criminal history, and a fingerprint clearance will be required. This opens up the job market in Arizona to the entire nation if this passes. A teacher in Texas, a nurse in California and a plumber in Michigan could all move into Arizona and begin work with a lot less paperwork.
So How Does this Help Military Spouses?
For one, it will bring change to state licensing boards. Currently, each state individually decides what requirements are needed for licensing. For instance, the Arizona State Board of Cosmetology requires 1,000 hours of training before being allowed to blow-dry hair. If out of state licensees are allowed in to work and compete for the same positions, boards like the Board of Cosmetology will be pressured to match their requirements to other states.
Second, this lowers the cost to the military family. When moving to a different state, getting a new license can cost upwards of hundreds of dollars, sometimes thousands depending on the license and the requirements.
Third, this opens up job opportunities. Instead of having to wait for a new state license, jobs can be applied for the minute orders are received, which in some cases can be very last minute. Timing for certain jobs, like education which are cyclical and match the educational calendar, is crucial. If orders are received in April, job postings in April can be applied to.
Fourth, recovery of lost income. Military spouses will share their experiences. Time waiting for a new license not only costs money, but leads to loss of money. That time waiting is time that income could be earned, supporting the family and the economy around it.
Governor Ducey has publicly stated that he supports this bill. In most of the other 49 states, military spouses with occupational licenses have to research and complete new requirements for each state moved to in order to apply or and hopefully receive a new license. A teacher in one state may only need 1,000 teaching hours, but a teacher in another state has a requirement for specific coursework to receive a license. This may be an impediment to the military spouse who is a teacher as perhaps the specific coursework was not available at his/her college.
We applaud this movement forward. Now which state is next?
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