Bills that would allow the Occupational Licensing Review Commission to review existing regulations are moving in both chambers.
Mississippi’s Occupational Licensing Review Commission, adopted in 2016, is a positive step to reigning in the regulatory arm of the state, but is limited to new regulations only. This would give the Commission – which is made up of the governor, attorney general, and secretary of state – the ability to review existing regulations and to act upon it if it does not:
- Increase economic opportunities for all of its citizens by promoting competition and thereby encouraging innovation and job growth.
- Use the least restrictive regulation necessary to protect consumers from present, significant and substantiated harms that threaten public health and safety.
Today, Mississippi has more than 117,000 regulations, which numerous empirical studies show to have a detrimental effect on economic growth. Mississippi also licenses 66 low-and-middle income occupations. According to a recent report from the Institute for Justice, Mississippi has lost 13,000 jobs because of occupational licensing and the state has suffered an economic value loss of $37 million.
Senate Bill 2790, authored by Sen. John Polk, would give the OLRC the ability to review the substance of any regulation. It was double referred to Business and Financial Institutions and Accountability, Efficiency, Transparency and cleared both committees. House Bill 1104, authored by Rep. Jerry Turner, would give the commission the ability to review regulations dating back to 2012. It has cleared the House Accountability, Efficiency, Transparency committee.
A separate House bill, HB 1260, was similar to the Senate version that allowed a review of any regulation. It, however, was double referred. It cleared the Accountability, Efficiency, Transparency committee but needed to be acted upon by Judiciary A. It faces today’s calendar deadline for committee action, or it will be dead.