Mississippi will become only the second state to promote universal recognition with a new law that goes into effect on Thursday.
According to Gov. Tate Reeves, it’s a “big win” for the state’s economy.
The Republican governor held a press conference on Tuesday to talk about the Universal Recognition of Occupational Licensing Act which will allow people who hold an occupational license in other states to move to and work in Mississippi without being required to obtain additional licensing.
“I firmly believe that Mississippi is on the move and the economy is growing. One reason is (our) pro-growth, pro-business approach to governing,” said Reeves. “Universal recognition is a loss for governmental bureaucracy and red tape and a win for Mississippi’s economy.”
House Bill 1263 will require licensing boards to issue occupational licenses for professions without new testing or classroom training if a person held a license in good standing from another state for at least one year.
“Universal recognition will remove opportunity roadblocks and pave the way for professionals to move to the state all while still upholding the standards that protect consumers,” added Reeves.
The new law will cover nurses, architects, engineers and others. Most importantly, according to Reeves, it will cover teachers.
“As we look to increase and improve national board-certified teachers here, this will help us accomplish that mission by providing an incentive for out-of-state teachers to relocate here so they can quickly continue to do what they do best,” said Reeves.
Authored by Republican Rep. Becky Currie of Brookhaven, she said the new law will show the country that “Mississippi is open for business.”
She said state agencies have until the end of the summer to update their licensing policies.
“Some agencies haven’t changed their protocols in 30 years, and it’s time to do that,” Currie said. “We want to make sure that if you want to come to Mississippi and work here, raise your family, that you are welcome and we’re not going to put roadblocks or red tape up for you to do that.”
Arizona became the first state in the nation to provide universal recognition of occupational licenses two years ago. Last year, Mississippi passed a similar law exclusively for military families.