Looking Back: Ten Years of Regulatory Reform Achievements in Mississippi

By Aaron Rice
June 8, 2021

“People overestimate what they can accomplish in one legislative session and underestimate what they can accomplish in ten.” 

In this series, we are conducting a review of the incredible record Mississippi lawmakers have put together over the past 10 years. The list provided here is not comprehensive, and we feature only the policies we like: some of which were initiated by MCPP (marked by an *asterisk* below). (Or, in the case of the many accomplishments below, nearly all of which were initiated by MCPP.)

So far, we have covered:

10 Years of Social Welfare Achievements

10 Years of Religious Liberty Achievements

10 Years of Second Amendment Achievements

10 Years of Pro-life Achievements

10-Years of Healthcare Achievements

10 Years of Education Achievements

In this installment, we will be looking at legislative accomplishments aimed at cutting red tape to make it easier to start a business, obtain a good job, and lead a good life in Mississippi. These are the highpoints over the past 10 years:

In 2013, MCPP worked closely with Senator Angela Hill to pass the state’s first cottage food law (SB 2553). This reform unleashed a culinary revolution of small entrepreneurs baking cakes and cookies and making pickles and other homemade goods. The law exempted small entrepreneurs from onerous regulations better suited to largescale providers. In 2020, we successfully expanded the law, with a bill (HB 326) sponsored by Rep. Casey Eure.*

In 2015 and 2016, we led the way in passing a legislative package known as “Financial Ready.” These reforms, passed as part of separate bills related to performance-based budgeting, require state agencies to identify their dependency on federal grants and quantify the fiscal and other compliance costs associated with these grants. Mississippi was the second state in the country to enact Financial Ready.*

Also in 2015, MCPP launched the effort to combat the Obama administration’s arguably unconstitutional Clean Power Plan. In addition to collaborating with state policymakers to voice their objections as part of the federal rulemaking process, we worked on various bills to provide for more transparency and accountability for the plan. In the end, lawmakers passed a resolution declaring Mississippi’s opposition to this federal attempt to take over state electrical grids (SCR 637).*

In 2017, MCPP was proud to work with Americans for Prosperity (MS-AFP) to help pass a law (HB 1425) that requires the state to actively review new regulations issued by occupational licensing boards. AFP led the way in this effort, and we assisted with messaging support and other expertise. The law implements a structure to provide “active supervision” over occupational licensing boards so that they “use the least restrictive regulation necessary to protect consumers from present, significant and substantiated harms that threaten public health and safety.” In 2020, Rep. Jerry Turner strengthened the review process so as to apply to existing (and not just new) regulations (HB 1104).

In 2019, the Legislature made it easier for certain Mississippi residents with a criminal record to obtain an occupational license. Known as “Fresh Start,” the law strikes a balance between protecting public safety while helping ex-offenders reintegrate into their families and communities by getting good-paying jobs. According to the Institute for Justice, following the passage of Fresh Start, “Mississippi now has some of the best laws in the country for ex-offenders seeking licenses.” Fresh Start was sponsored by Rep. Mark Baker and Senator John Polk (SB 2781) and was a priority for MCPP.*

Also, in 2019, Mississippi became the first state in the nation to pass a comprehensive law to protect the privacy of those who give to the causes and charities they hold dear. This law has sparked a movement of states committed to protecting free speech and the freedom of association from government agencies seeking to weaponize and politicize charitable giving. This legislation (HB 1205) was sponsored by Rep. Jerry Turner and Rep. Mark Baker and was a priority for MCPP.*  

In 2020, the Legislature again turned toward eliminating burdensome occupational licensing requirements. Sponsored by Senator Chuck Younger and championed by Rep. Steve Hopkins, the Military Family Freedom Act (SB 2117) makes it easier for military personnel and their families to obtain a Mississippi occupational license by recognizing existing credentials and experience earned in other states. Arguably the best law of its kind in the country, this reform put Mississippi on the map as a destination state for military families seeking to live and work here.*

In 2021, thanks to the leadership of our legal center, the Mississippi Justice Institute, the Legislature altogether eliminated occupational licensing requirements for select practitioners in the cosmetology field. This law (HB 1312) was sponsored by Rep. Jerry Turner.*

Finally, in 2021, building upon our success with the Military Family Freedom Act, lawmakers made it easier for anyone who has earned an occupational license in another state to obtain a license in Mississippi. Authored by Rep. Becky Currie, this legislation (HB 1263) was a priority for MCPP and the result of years of hard work to make it easier for qualified professionals to move to Mississippi and work in their chosen field.*


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