January 14, 2019

Phoenix—Unnecessary and cumbersome occupational licensing laws prevent countless Arizonans from practicing their profession of choice and moving up the economic ladder. The Goldwater Institute supports Governor Doug Ducey’s commitment to breaking down regulatory barriers to people’s right to earn an honest living, as he discussed in his State of the State address today:

One hundred thousand people will move here this year. There’s a job available for every single one of them. Lots of people are trained and certified in other states. Standing in their way of earning a living in Arizona — our own licensing boards and their cronies who tell them, ‘You can’t work here. You haven’t paid the piper.’ Let’s stop this foolishness…

And before those unelected boards feign outrage, let’s remember. Workers don’t lose their skills simply because they move to Arizona. And in the name of good government, let’s have the bullies on these boards answer these three questions: What do you exist to do, how do you know you are doing it well, and who would miss you if you were gone?”

The Goldwater Institute has led the way in advocating for reform of occupational licensing in Arizona. The Institute won a major victory for the right to earn a living in 2014 when it successfully challenged the Arizona Board of Cosmetology’s attempts to needlessly regulate Lauren Boice, a small-business owner who connects terminally ill patients with beauty service-providers

In 2017, Arizona became the first state in the country to enact the Right to Earn a Living Act, a law designed by the Institute to protect individuals’ freedom to pursue their chosen profession. Later that year, the Institute helped a behavioral health counselor successfully challenge an Arizona state board’s rule under the newly enacted law, thereby enabling her to practice her profession. Last year, Arizona enacted Goldwater Institute bills that increased transparency in occupational licensing boards, expanded access to dental care by opening the door to dental therapists, and made it easier for low-income Arizonans to challenge burdensome occupational regulations.

“State government should not prevent Arizonans from pursuing their professions, earning a living, and improving their lives,” said Victor Riches, president and CEO of the Goldwater Institute. “The Goldwater Institute supports Gov. Ducey’s desire to continue lowering barriers to entrepreneurship so that Arizonans’ right to earn a living is protected.” 

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About the Goldwater Institute

The Goldwater Institute drives results by working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and strengthen the freedom guaranteed to all Americans in the constitutions of the United States and all 50 states. With the blessing of its namesake, the Goldwater Institute opened in 1988. Its early years focused on defending liberty in Barry Goldwater’s home state of Arizona. Today, the Goldwater Institute is a national leader for constitutionally limited government respected by the left and right for its adherence to principle and real world impact. No less a liberal icon than the New York Times calls the Goldwater Institute a “watchdog for conservative ideals” that plays an “outsize role” in American political life.