Governor signs universal recognition bill into law
Gov. Tate Reeves has signed legislation that will make it easier for qualified professionals to begin working when they move to Mississippi.
House Bill 1263, sponsored by Rep. Becky Currie, requires the state to recognize occupational licenses obtained in another state, making it easier for licensed professionals moving to Mississippi.
“Mississippi took a leap forward today, becoming the first southern state to adopt universal recognition of occupational licenses,” said Russ Latino, Empower Mississippi President. “HB 1263 will allow qualified professionals moving into Mississippi the chance to immediately begin earning a living and serving their fellow Mississippians. While much remains to be done to make our home the most job friendly state in the country, the Governor and leaders in the legislature are to be commended for entering the race toward competitiveness with great gusto.”
Occupational licenses, which are government regulated, are intended to recognize the qualifications of a worker to provide certain services. Over the years, licensing requirements have been extended to nearly a quarter of all jobs, including many low to mid-income professions. In recent years, studies done across the country have cast doubt on the efficacy of licensure to protect the public and have raised serious concerns that licensing stops people from finding work and dramatically increases prices for consumers.
Two years ago, Arizona became the first state in the nation to provide universal recognition of occupational licenses. In the first year, more than 1,100 new Arizonans applied for and were granted a license to work in the Grand Canyon State. Since that time, Montana, Pennsylvania, Utah, Idaho, Iowa, and Missouri have followed Arizona.
Last year, Mississippi passed a similar law exclusively for military families.
HB 1263 will be effective July 1.