House Bill 1315, sponsored by Speaker Philip Gunn, would eliminate licensing requirements for art therapists, auctioneers, interior designers, funeral home directors, and wigologists. Each of these professions pose no legitimate threat to public safety and the state government has no rational basis for regulating. While public safety is the purported reasoning for licensing, licensing laws…

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House Bill 1312, sponsored by Rep. Jerry Turner, will extend the repealer on the State Board of Cosmetology, while removing the licensing requirement for the safe practices of eyebrow threading, applying makeup, and applying eyelash extensions. Each of these practices are extremely safe and do not involve cutting, coloring, or chemically treating hair. Threading is the…

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Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn has filed a bill to eliminate a series of occupational licenses for professions that pose no legitimate threat to public safety and the state government has no rational basis for regulating. House Bill 1315, which was voted out of committee yesterday, would eliminate licensing requirements for art therapists, auctioneers, interior…

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While we couldn’t gather this year at the capitol for the National School Choice Week, we found ways to celebrate all across the state.  Thank you for participating in our first ever virtual school choice week! The events of the week included a Facebook LIVE Coffee and Conversation with National School Choice Week President Andrew Campanella…

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Demyrion lives in a rural Mississippi county with only one school option: his local public school. He has a rare medical condition that requires him to be in an environment with a stable temperature – a feat on hot days and in crowded classrooms. The only setting where his parents can keep an eye on…

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The House Workforce Development Committee has advanced legislation that would recognize occupational licenses obtained in another state. Under House Bill 1263, sponsored by Rep. Becky Currie, individuals who move to Mississippi will be able to essentially “transfer” their occupational license from another state if they meet certain requirements and their license is in good standing. Identical…

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Last Thursday, I published an article in the Clarion Ledger highlighting Mississippi’s worst in the nation physician shortage, our worst in the nation life expectancy and health outcomes, and how full practice authority for Mississippi’s nurse practitioners could be one solution to improve access to affordable, quality health care. Despite the article being rather demure…

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Senate Bill 2574, sponsored by Sen. Juan Barnett, seeks to create a pilot reentry program that incorporates workforce development training into the rehabilitation process. A 2018 Bureau of Justice Statistics report showed that three-quarters of offenders are re-arrested within five years of release. This alarming discovery has led to efforts to find pathways for reintegration…

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Empower Mississippi applauds the legislation and action from the committee The House Public Health and Human Services Committee has advanced legislation that will grant nurse practitioners full practice authority in Mississippi. House Bill 1303, sponsored by Rep. Donnie Scoggin (R-Ellisville), now goes to the full House for a vote. “Mississippi suffers from the worst primary…

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House Bill 1035, sponsored by Rep. Rob Roberson, would establish a virtual public school pilot program for Mississippi students. The state’s existing virtual education statute, which became law in 2006, already authorizes the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) to establish a state virtual public school, but no statewide, full-time option exists today. Students may only…

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Senate Bill 2561, sponsored by Sen. Daniel Sparks, seeks to provide a provisional driver’s license to formerly incarcerated individuals. In a 2018 report, the Prison Policy Initiative showed that pre-and-post-release employment services are crucial factors in the successful reintegration of reentering citizens as the unemployment rate is the highest within the first two years of…

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Saying it is time for a bold move, Gov. Tate Reeves called for the elimination of the state’s income tax during his State of the State address today. “I believe that in order to fully capture the potential of this historic moment, we must think big,” Reeves said. “We need a bold move. This is…

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