JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Eleven weeks into the 2021 legislative session, and several major bills are on their way to the governor’s desk.
Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann recently took to Facebook to tout several measures that are going to the governor to be signed, including one that would raise pay for teachers and teacher assistants.
“This is an issue the Senate has worked on for two years,” he wrote. “I’m very grateful for Chairman Dennis DeBar’s dogged support of our teachers, who deserve our respect for their extra hard work during the pandemic.”
DeBar, a Republican, is chair of the Senate Education Committee.
Other bills that have been approved by both Houses include:
- H.B. 1263, which would allow individuals to transfer out-of-state occupational licenses to Mississippi if they meet certain criteria;
- S.B. 2626, which would allow corporations to hold virtual shareholder meetings;
- S.B. 2746, which mandates the Mississippi State Department of Health “gather information on chromosomal disorders and make that information available to physicians and providers;”
- And, S.B. 2788, which allows the highway patrol to respond to incidents along the I-55 corridor Jackson.
That bill was authored in response to a New Year’s Night street racing incident, which blocked a portion of I-55 for at least an hour.
H.B. 1263, meanwhile, is already garnering praise from groups like Empower Mississippi, who say it will make it easier for licensed professionals who are moving into Mississippi and looking to set up shop.
“If signed into law, Mississippi would become the first state in the south to adopt universal recognition, making it easier for professionals to move into our state and immediately begin providing services to their neighbors,” Empower President Russ Latino said.
Arizona was the first state to provide universal recognition of occupational licenses, according to a news release from Empower. In the first year, more than 1,100 new residents in that state applied for and were granted licenses to work there.
Other states have followed suit, including Montana, Pennsylvania, Utah, Idaho, Iowa, and Missouri, the release states.
Said Latino, “(It) is an important step toward making Mississippi more competitive, providing a welcome environment for people looking to relocate, and ultimately expanding opportunity for everyone.”