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Goldwater Leads the Nation on the Right to Earn a Living

May 17, 2019

A Roadmap for Liberty

The Wall Street Journal called it “Arizona’s Licensing Liberation”: The Grand Canyon State has enacted landmark reforms to protect Arizonans’ right to earn a living. It’s setting an example for the nation—a roadmap for other states to follow—and the Goldwater Institute has been instrumental in making it happen.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey recently signed first-in-the-nation legislation that recognizes occupational licenses from other states. 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 the same job in their new home. Backed by the Goldwater Institute, it’s a commonsense yet groundbreaking change to a law that has for too long held workers back.

Governor Ducey Applauds Goldwater Institute

In a new video, Governor Ducey applauds the Goldwater Institute for its leadership in fighting for freedom in Arizona—and in leading the way for the nation.

“The Goldwater Institute is focused on individual liberty and limited government, and that’s two of the principles that has made Arizona a better state, a more productive state, where people from all across the country are flocking to,” Governor Ducey said. “There’s no one in this country that is more on the cutting edge of what good government should look like and holding elected leaders accountable for their actions.”

Goldwater’s Game-changing Reforms

In a recent article, Goldwater Institute President and CEO Victor Riches explained how the Institute has long been a champion for the right to earn a living in Arizona and how that work has provided a roadmap to reform for the United States. That includes the recent law recognizing occupational licenses from other states, and another measure that eliminated senseless and costly regulation of blow-dry stylists. But that’s not all, Riches explains:

“These initiatives come two years after the passage of a truly game-changing reform. In another first, Arizona was the first state in the country to pass legislation safeguarding workers’ ability to work in the field of their choice. Known as the Right to Earn a Living Act, the law puts the onus on government to show that any regulation limiting participation in a job or profession is necessary to protect public health or safety.

“In 2016, the Goldwater Institute developed the legislation that became Arizona’s Right to Earn a Living Act. As we explained then, the goal was to put an end to the unneeded, overly bureaucratic restraints that rob people of economic opportunity; such restrictions ‘often inflict their greatest burdens on people with little wealth or political clout, thereby cutting off the bottom rungs of the economic ladder.’

“Today, Arizona is leading the nation in making needed reforms that expand opportunity for workers across the economic spectrum. More and more states will now follow this roadmap to opportunity by passing Right to Earn a Living and other model legislation—and our country’s entire workforce will be much better off because of it.”



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