May 1, 2019
by Victor Riches

Maricopa County, Arizona, is exploding in population. Home to Phoenix, the county added more than 81,000 residents last year — the largest population increase of any county in the United States. For those new residents, and the many others who are sure to follow, they’ll find that they have arrived in a land of opportunity, thanks to a series of groundbreaking reforms to protect their right to earn a living. It’s an example for the nation—and a roadmap for other states to follow.

In April, Arizona became the first state in the nation to recognize occupational licenses from other states. It’s a commonsense yet groundbreaking change to a law that has for too long held workers back. In every other state, a worker who holds a license in one state and then moves to another is forced to go through more study and training in order to do their same job in their new home. That’s costly, time-consuming, and irrational.

As Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey pointed out while signing the bill into law, just because someone moves to a new state doesn’t mean that their training, knowledge, and skills are left behind. Now, any new resident who holds a license to work in their field will be able to continue doing so in Arizona without interruption.

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