Gov. Tate Reeves signed legislation that will make it easier for professionals who are relocating to Mississippi to obtain work under their current licensing.

House Bill 1263 which was authored by Rep. Becky Currie, would allow for individuals who are licensed in other states, to be recognized in Mississippi without further credentialing. This is a form of universal licensing.

Prior to the bill passing all the way through each chamber, we spoke to Empower Mississippi President Russ Latino on what a bill like this would do for Mississippi’s workforce.

“Mississippi took a leap forward today, becoming the first southern state to adopt universal recognition of occupational licenses,” said Latino said in a release on the signing of the bill. “HB 1263 will allow qualified professionals moving into Mississippi the chance to immediately begin earning a living and serving their fellow Mississippians. While much remains to be done to make our home the most job friendly state in the country, the Governor and leaders in the legislature are to be commended for entering the race toward competitiveness with great gusto.”

Occupational licenses are are a government regulated certification that apply to almost 25 percent of all jobs. According to recent studies questions have been raised as to the necessity of licensing and whether or not it prevents individuals from finding work while also increasing the cost for customers.

Mississippi will join Arizona, Montana, Pennsylvania, Utah, Idaho, Iowa and Missouri as those who provide universal recognition for occupational licenses.