March 26, 2020
By Jon Riches
Today, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey issued an executive order that will ensure state regulatory barriers do not prevent licensed workers, including health care professionals, from continuing to work, while also protecting licensees from unnecessary risk during the coronavirus crisis.
Governor Ducey’s order defers occupational licensing renewal requirements, including continuing education requirements, for a period of six months, unless those requirements can be satisfied online.
From physicians and pharmacists to accountants and real estate agents, Arizona licensing boards require those who hold occupational licenses to complete periodic continuing education in order to maintain or renew a license. If continuing education requirements are not satisfied, a licensed worker could lose his or her license and face other disciplinary action.
Because many continuing education requirements are completed in class or in person, gathering restrictions in light of the coronavirus can prevent many licensed professionals from completing these requirements. Governor Ducey’s executive order ensures that will not happen.
It also comes just one year after Arizona passed landmark legislation, championed by the Goldwater Institute, that allows licensed workers from other states to receive occupational licenses in Arizona.
Governor Ducey should be applauded for taking quick and decisive action to ensure that all workers can continue their work without fear of regulatory barriers that are difficult or impossible to satisfy under current conditions. Other states should follow suit. And to the extent the absence of these requirements have no impact on the public health and safety, we should examine the rationale for continuing them after this crisis has passed.
Jon Riches is Director of National Litigation for the Goldwater Institute.