Legislation is moving in the Senate that would make it easier for new Mississippi residents to use their education and experience to contribute to the state economy.

HB 1263, sponsored by Rep. Becky Currie, would recognize the hard work and long hours individuals put in to get an occupational license. The bill passed the House unanimously and was taken up by the Senate committee on Accountability, Efficiency, and Transparency today.

If a new Mississippi resident holds a license from another state, this bill makes it easier for that individual to get the same license here, as long as their credentials and scope of practice is the same. Nine other states have passed similar legislation in a race to make their state more attractive to new residents. The bill is based on a successful reform passed last year that also makes it easier for military spouses and dependents to move to Mississippi and obtain an occupational license.

About HB1263, MCPP President Douglas Carswell stated, “This bill is great news for Mississippi. It will mean more jobs and it will make it easier for businesses to grow.” 

“For too long, restrictive laws have denied ordinary Americans the freedom to move to Mississippi and work. New residents have had to get additional education and training, even when they are well qualified elsewhere. This bill reduces obstacles and makes it simpler to come to Mississippi and work.”

“Well done to Rep. Currie for standing up for working people.”

Dr. Jameson Taylor, Senior Vice President for Policy, stated, “This bill is one of the easiest, best things we can do to encourage people to move to Mississippi. If someone has invested thousands of dollars to obtain the education and experience necessary to get an occupational license, we should open the door for them to move to Mississippi and get a Mississippi license. We spend millions of dollars trying to recruit companies to come here. This bill spends nothing. Yet, I believe this reform could create hundreds of jobs here in Mississippi as high-skilled individuals decide Mississippi is the place they want to be.”

Continued Taylor, “When families move to Mississippi, we make it easy for their kids’ K-12 grade-level coursework to transfer over. We make it easy for college coursework to transfer over. Why wouldn’t we do the same thing when it comes to occupational licensing and let people carry over their relevant education and experience to get a Mississippi license?”

The bill now moves on for consideration by the full Senate. It must pass before a deadline of March 10.