The Mississippi House of Representatives passed what is being called the ‘Military Family Freedom Act’ on Wednesday by a 120-0 vote.
House Bill 1510 was authored by Rep. Steve Hopkins (R-HD 7).
The bill seeks to revise the manner in which occupational licenses are issued to applicants who are members of the military, or military family members, making it easier and faster to obtain such licenses to operate in the State of Mississippi.
Those applicants who hold a current and valid license in another state in an occupation with a similar scope of practice, as determined by an occupational licensing board in Mississippi and who has held such a license in another state for at least a year, will receive an expedited review and issuance.
Responses should be provided to military applicants within 60 days.
Occupational licensing boards would be required to prepare and place on the board’s website an annual report detailing the number of applications submitted to the licensing board under this section during a calendar year along with the actions taken by the board on the applications.
HB 1510 also addresses licensing that is regulated in Mississippi but may not be in another state.
Rep. Hopkins’ bill states that an occupational licensing board shall issue a license to a military applicant based on work experience in another state, if the applicant worked in a state that does not use a license to regulate a lawful occupation, but Mississippi does regulate that occupation with a similar scope of practice, as determined by the occupational licensing board. The applicant would need to have worked for at least three years in the occupation to qualify under this provision.
The bill now heads to the Mississippi Senate for consideration.