The five House bills focus on easing regulations for occupational licensing in the state
Rep. Brandon Vick celebrated what was labeled a big win Tuesday in the Washington State Legislature, as five occupational licensing bills he’s sponsoring, or cosponsoring, successfully passed through committee hearings.
“Occupational licensing, and the obvious barriers to entering the workforce that some of these licenses can provide, have been an ongoing conversation in Olympia.” said Vick, who is the ranking member of the Consumer Protection and Business Committee (CPBC). “What we’ll accomplish through this package of bills is to begin clearing away hurdles that have prevented both new and current Washingtonians from getting to work in a timely and affordable manner.”
The five House Bills, 2354, 2355, 2356, 2477 and 2875, focus on easing regulations for occupational licensing in the state. Vick, R-Vancouver and Rep. Larry Hoff, R-Vancouver, worked together on the bills after hearing from numerous individuals who have faced frustrating roadblocks when trying to get licensed in Washington.
Rep. Vick had the opportunity to testify on behalf of his bills during hearings last week in front of the CPBC. He sees these bills as an opportunity to help improve job growth in the state.
“We have people moving to Washington who are ready to work,” said Vick. “As a government, we should be doing whatever we can to help make this transition an easy one.”
Beau Perschbacher, legislative and policy director at the Washington Department of Licensing (DOL) also testified. When asked by a committee member if the DOL would implement these bills should they become law, Perschbacher said, “That is our intent. Absolutely!”
Perschbacher noted that the DOL likes Vick’s bills because they give the department the flexibility to apply a reasonable lens on licensing regulations, depending on the circumstances.
“These bills are not intended to weaken the public health and safety protections that our constituents expect,” said Vick. “Their purpose is to give the DOL the opportunity to look at an individual moving into Washington, or re-entering the workforce, and determine whether or not the license they already have conforms to state standards.”
The bills would allow the DOL to evaluate each case individually and then determine if they can make the process easier for people seeking licenses in the state.
“We want to do what’s right,” Vick told the committee. “We want to make it easier for our citizens to get to work, provide for their families, and improve their station in life.”
The bills now go to the House Rules Committee, where they await being pulled to the floor for a vote by the full House of Representatives.
“I’m excited that these bills have reached the next step in the process,” said Vick. “They really make sense. And they would help the state, as well as individuals who want to live and work here. I look forward to seeing them progress to the House floor.”
The 2020 session is scheduled to run for 60 days and end on March 12.
Information provided by Washington State House Republican Communications, houserepublicans.wa.gov