Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Consumer Protection & Business Committee

HB 2477

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Brief Description: Establishing review standards for professional licensing regulation.

Sponsors: Representatives Vick, Hoff, Volz and Kraft.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Requires any professional license created after July 31, 2020 for the exclusive purpose of protecting the public interest and establishes evaluation criteria.

Hearing Date: 1/22/20

Staff: Robbi Kesler (786-7153).


The Department of Licensing (DOL) regulates a number of businesses and professions.  For regulated professions, the DOL issues licenses and ensures compliance with professional standards and laws. 

Examples of professions regulated directly by the DOL, or in coordination with a board or commission, include:

Requirements for a professional license, certificate, registration, or permit vary considerably.  Some professions may require:

Many professions have provisions for some form of reciprocity or consideration of experience from other states or military service.  In addition, the DOL and other licensing authorities must expedite the issuance of a broad range of professional licenses, certificates, registrations, or permits for qualified military spouses.

Summary of Bill:

Regulations related to professional licenses, made after July 31, 2020, shall only be imposed for the exclusive purpose of protecting the public interest.

Bills introduced to regulate or implement a new professional license for the the first time should be regulated by the state only when:

The Legislature must evaluate regulation of new professional licenses using this criteria and consider governmental and societal costs and benefits. If the Legislature finds that it is necessary to regulate an occupation by implementing a professional license requirement not previously required by law, the least restrictive alternative method of regulation should be implemented.

Considerations related to least restrictive method of regulation includes:

"Public interest" is defined as protection from a present and recognizable harm to public health, safety, or welfare. The term does not include speculative threats, or other non-demonstrable menaces to public health, safety, or welfare. For the purposes of this subsection, the term "welfare" includes the financial health of the public when the absence of governmental regulation unreasonably increases risk and liability to broad classes of consumers.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.