The Senate Health and Human Services Committee unanimously passed HB2496 on Wednesday. It now needs to pass a full Senate vote before heading to Governor Doug Ducey’s desk for approval.
HB2496 would require new dental professionals to obtain a fingerprint clearance card before they could practice in Arizona. A fingerprint clearance card is essentially a full background check.
However, dental professionals already practicing in the state would not have to obtain a card, according to legislative testimony and records.
Last week, the bill overwhelmingly passed through the House of Representatives with a 50 to 8 vote. That vote came one day after anA BC15 investigation exposed dental professionals are not required to undergo background checks .
In addition to ABC15’s investigation, the lack of background checks for Arizona dentists was a deficiency highlighted in a 2014 state audit.
Many states require full background checks for dental professionals, including neighboring states California, Nevada and New Mexico.