Vick-backed licensing bills pass committee


State Rep. Brandon Vick has a slew of bills move forward in the Washington State Legislature last week as a House committee passed five pieces of legislation he supports that focus on easing occupational licensing regulations.

The five pieces of legislation, either with primary or secondary support from Vick, R-Vancouver, passed the House Consumer Protection and Business Committee (CPBC) Jan. 28. A release from Vick’s office that the lawmaker worked with his Eighteenth Legislative District Counterpart Larry Hoff, R-Vancouver, after hearing frustration from a number of individuals who were trying to get licenses for their jobs in Washington.

“Occupational licensing, and the obvious barriers to entering the workforce that some of these licenses can provide, have been an ongoing conversation in Olympia,” Vick stated in the release. The lawmaker is the ranking member of the CPBC, and testified in support of the bills during a Jan. 22 public hearing on the legislation.

Vick sees the bills as a way to help job growth in Washington, the release stated.

“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.”

The bills cover a variety of areas for occupational licensing, such as expediting licensing for new Washington residents, reducing barriers to individuals with criminal records for licensing and the creation of an annual review of a portion of state licensing requirements, according to bill information from the Washington State Legislature.

Alongside Vick, the Washington Department of Licensing (DOL) Legislative and policy director Beau Perschbacher also testified, the release stated. He said the department would “absolutely” implement the legislation if passed, adding the bills gave the DOL “flexibility to apply a reasonable lens on licensing regulations, depending on the circumstances,” according to the release.

“These bills are not intended to weaken the public health and safety protections that our constituents expect,” Vick stated in the release. “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.”

Following CPBC approval, the bills now head to the House Rules Committee which will decide whether to pull the legislation out for a full vote of the House. 

“I’m excited that these bills have reached the next step in the process,” Vick stated in the release. “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.”