Ohio’s Governor Mike DeWine recently signed into law a Universal Occupational License Recognition allowing licensed professionals such as real estate agents, architects, electricians, plumbers, barbers, and cosmetologists to move to The Buckeye State and avoid the costly and time-consuming process of re-applying for the same license there. Arizona was the first state to adopt universal recognition.
The Buckeye Institute, an Ohio think tank, applauded the governor’s action:
“Senate Bill 131 will enable people who already possess an occupational license from another state to move to the Buckeye State and pursue their dreams. These pro-worker reforms couldn’t come at a better time. With job opportunities proliferating thanks to projects like the new Intel plant, Ohio needs a vibrant workforce, and the policies that Governor DeWine signed into law will bring new workers to our state.”
In 2021, the Kansas Legislature passed, and Governor Kelly signed into law House Bill 2066, which proposed to reduce the red tape associated with professional licensure. The bill read that the new law:
“…amends law to shorten the period of time in which regulatory bodies are required to issue occupational credentials to military servicemembers or military spouses seeking to establish residency in Kansas and provide for expedited credentialing of non-military prospective residents.”
The law also modified the qualifications of “credentialing” or approving an occupational license, requiring the applicant to:
- Hold a valid out-of-state current credential from another state, district, or territory of the United States that authorizes a similar scope of practice, as defined by the bill. Current law requires the credential to be equivalent to that established by the relevant Kansas licensing body,
- Have worked for at least one year in the relevant occupation;
- Not have a disqualifying criminal record; and
- Show proof of solvency, financial standing, bonding, or insurance as required by the licensing body
The bill defines “scope of practice” as procedures, actions, processes, and work a person may perform under a government-issued credential.
But the law has not lived up to its promise of reducing bureaucratic interference, according to Elizabeth Patton with Americans for Prosperity:
“We passed 2066 a couple of years ago with the intention of allowing for recognition (of out-of-state licenses) but the agencies are not complying.”
Senator Renee Erickson of Wichita is Chair of the Commerce Committee. She also praises the Ohio law:
“As more states implement license reciprocity, we must look at this and other innovative solutions to address workforce needs and remain competitive. There must be a balance between ensuring people are qualified and not having burdensome and expensive obstacles to work.”