HB 261: Universal recognition for occupational licenses

By Mississippi Center for Public Policy
January 29, 2020

House Bill 261, sponsored by Rep. Becky Currie, would allow those holding an occupational license from another state to receive one in Mississippi.

The bill would also allow the spouse of a member of the military who is stationed in Mississippi to receive a license if they hold one from another state. 

As of now, a new state resident who is part of a licensed occupation often has to go through the same process as someone receiving their license for the first time with the resultant fees and tests. Also, if the educational requirements for the license in their former state aren’t as stringent, a new resident will have to pay for additional training to make up the difference. 

Mississippi does have limited reciprocity agreements with some states with some occupations to honor their licenses, but HB 261 would end this practice and allow most new residents to trade in their former state’s license with a new Mississippi one with little hassle.

A licensee would have to be in good standing with their former state’s regulators and would need to be licensed for a year to be eligible. The new worker would also have to pass a test to determine their knowledge of Mississippi laws and regulations concerning their occupation.

This bill would require the state’s occupational licensing boards would have to adopt rules to implement the new law by January 1, 2021.

In 2019, Arizona became the first state to pass such legislation that allowed new residents in the Grand Canyon State to bring their licenses with them rather than start the process of licensure again.

Mississippi is in need of occupational licensing reform. According to a report by the Institute for Justice, the Magnolia State is ranked 19thworst in the number of lower-income occupations that require a license. The report found that Mississippi licenses 66 out of 102 lower-income occupations studied.

MCPP has reviewed this legislation and finds that it is aligned with our principles and therefore should be supported. 

Read the bill here.

Track the status of this bill and all bills in our legislative tracker


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