Gov. Reeves signs ‘Universal Recognition’ legislation into law

House Bill 1439 could eliminate or lower state income tax if passed.
House Bill 1439 could eliminate or lower state income tax if passed.(Source: WDAM)
Updated: Mar. 25, 2021 at 4:26 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Licensed professionals moving into the Magnolia State will soon have an easier time setting up shop and making a living.

Gov. Tate Reeves has signed the “Universal Recognition” legislation, a bill that will mandate that the state recognize occupational licenses from other states.

The bill, H.B. 1263, was authored by Rep. Becky Currie, who represents District 92. It was approved by the House and the Senate by overwhelming margins before going to the governor’s desk.

The measure will take effect on July 1.

“H.B. 1263 will allow qualified professionals moving into Mississippi the chance to immediately begin earning a living and serving their fellow Mississippians,” said Russ Latino, president of Empower Mississippi. “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.”

Mississippi becomes the first state in the Southeast to pass a universal recognition bill. Two years ago, Arizona became the first state to offer universal recognition. As a result of that decision, more than 2,800 new Arizona residents applied for and were granted a license to work there.

Montana, Pennsylvania, Utah, Idaho, Iowa and Missouri have also passed measures.

Last year, Mississippi lawmakers passed a similar bill exclusively for military families, according to Empower.

Under the measure, individuals who move into Mississippi who have a license, permit, certificate or other registration in good standing with another state will be able to receive an equivalent license to practice here.

The individual must apply for the state license and must have had a license in another state for at least one year.

The measure does not apply to privilege licenses.

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