Bill Text: MS HB773 | 2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Military education credits and certifications; require IHL, MCCB and SWIB to develop policy for acceptance of toward academic degrees and licensure requirements.

Spectrum: Moderate Partisan Bill (Democrat 10-2-1)

Status: (Failed) 2019-02-05 - Died In Committee [HB773 Detail]

Download: Mississippi-2019-HB773-Introduced.html

MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2019 Regular Session

To: Workforce Development; Universities and Colleges

By: Representatives Hines, Faulkner, Straughter, Clark, Anthony, Bell (65th), Bailey, Barton, Denny, Denton, Gibbs (36th), Johnson (94th), Miles

House Bill 773

AN ACT TO PROVIDE THAT THE STATE WORKFORCE INVESTMENT BOARD OR AN APPLICABLE OCCUPATIONAL LICENSING BOARD SHALL ACCEPT MILITARY EDUCATION, TRAINING AND SERVICE AS QUALIFIED CREDENTIALS  OTHERWISE REQUIRED OF AN APPLICANT FOR A LICENSE OR CERTIFICATE; TO DEFINE TERMS USED IN THIS ACT; TO SPECIFY THE PROFESSIONAL OCCUPATIONS AND OCCUPATIONAL LICENSING BOARDS TO WHICH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT APPLY; TO REQUIRE EVIDENCE OF SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF THE EDUCATION, TRAINING OR SERVICE AS A MEMBER OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES, THE UNITED STATES RESERVES, THE NATIONAL GUARD OF ANY STATE, THE MILITARY RESERVES OF ANY STATE OR THE NAVAL MILITIA OF ANY STATE TO QUALIFY FOR SUCH BENEFIT; TO PRESCRIBE THE PROCESS BY WHICH ELIGIBLE INDIVIDUALS SHALL ADHERE TO IN APPLYING FOR A TEMPORARY PRACTICE PERMIT, LICENSE OF CERTIFICATION; TO REQUIRE THE STATE WORKFORCE INVESTMENT BOARD OR APPLICABLE OCCUPATIONAL LICENSING BOARD SHALL EXPEDITE THE PROCEDURE FOR ISSUANCE OF A LICENSE OR CERTIFICATE FOR APPLICANTS WHO ARE ON ACTIVE DUTY; TO AMEND SECTION 37-101-13, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF STATE INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING AND THE MISSISSIPPI COMMUNITY COLLEGE BOARD TO REQUIRE THE POSTSECONDARY INSTITUTIONS UNDER THEIR GOVERNANCE TO IMPLEMENT A POLICY AND PROCEDURE FOR THE ACCEPTANCE OF ACADEMIC CREDITS RECEIVED BY MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES UPON PRESENTATION OF EVIDENCE OF SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF RELEVANT MILITARY EDUCATION, TRAINING OR SERVICE; TO AMEND SECTION 37-153-7, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE THE STATE WORKFORCE INVESTMENT BOARD, IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF STATE INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING AND THE MISSISSIPPI COMMUNITY COLLEGE BOARD TO FACILITATE THE DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A STATEWIDE POLICY AND PROCEDURE FOR THE ACCEPTANCE OF ACADEMIC CREDITS RECEIVED BY MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES UPON PRESENTATION OF EVIDENCE OF SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF RELEVANT MILITARY EDUCATION, TRAINING OR SERVICE; TO BRING FORWARD SECTION 73-50-1, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, FOR THE PURPOSE OF POSSIBLE AMENDMENTS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

     BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:

     SECTION 1.  As used in this act the following terms shall have the meanings:

          (a)  "Board" includes the boards and commissions listed in Section 2 of this act.

          (b)  "Department" means the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development.

          (c)  "Director" means the executive director of the State Workforce Investment Board.

          (d)  "License" means a business license or a license, certificate, permit or registration or similar evidence of authority issued for an occupation by the State Workforce Investment Board or by one (1) of the boards listed in Section 2 of this act.

          (e)  "Licensee" means a person who holds a license.

          (f)  "Occupation" means a trade or profession listed in Section 2 of this act.

     SECTION 2.  This act applies to:

          (a)  The Board of Public Accountancy under Chapter 33, Title 73, Mississippi Code of 1972;

          (b)  The regulation of acupuncturists under Chapter 71, Title 73, Mississippi Code of 1972;

          (c)  The State Board of Architecture and the regulation of engineers and land surveyors under Chapter 1, Title 73, Mississippi Code of 1972, and Chapter 13, Title 73, Mississippi Code of 1972;

          (d)  The Athletic Commission under Chapter 75, Title 75, Mississippi Code of 1972;

          (e)  The regulation of athletic trainers under Chapter 55, Title 73, Mississippi Code of 1972;

          (f)  The regulation of audiologists and speech-language pathologists under Chapter 38, Title 73, Mississippi Code of 1972;

          (g)  The Board of Barber Examiners and the State Cosmetology Board under Chapter 5, Title 73, Mississippi Code of 1972, and Chapter 7, Title 73, Mississippi Code of 1972;

          (h)  The regulation of behavior analysts under Chapter 75, Title 73, Mississippi Code of 1972;

          (i)  The State Board of Chiropractic Examiners under Chapter 6, Title 73, Mississippi Code of 1972;

          (j)  The regulation of construction contractors and home inspectors under Chapter 60, Title 73, Mississippi Code of 1972;

          (k)  The Board of Dental Examiners under Chapter 9, Title 73, Mississippi Code of 1972;

          (l)  The regulation of dietitians and nutritionists under Chapter 10, Title 73, Mississippi Code of 1972;

          (m)  The regulation of midwives under Section 41-39-3;

          (n)  The regulation of dispensing opticians under Chapter 19, Title 73, Mississippi Code of 1972;

          (o)  The Board of Registered Professional Geologists under Chapter 63, Title 73, Mississippi Code of 1972;

          (p)  The regulation of private professional guardians and private professional conservators under Chapter 13, Title 93, Mississippi Code of 1972;

          (q)  The regulation of hearing aid dealers under Chapter 14, Title 73, Mississippi Code of 1972;

          (r)  The regulation of marriage and family therapists under Chapter 54, Title 73, Mississippi Code of 1972;

          (s)  The State Board of Massage Therapy under Chapter 67, Title 73, Mississippi Code of 1972;

          (t)  The State Board of Medical Licensure under Chapter 25, Title 73, Mississippi Code of 1972;

          (u)  The State Board of Funeral Services under Chapter 11, Title 73, Mississippi Code of 1972;

          (v)  The Mississippi Board of Nursing under Chapter 15, Title 73, Mississippi Code of 1972;

          (w)  The Board of Nursing Home Administrators under Chapter 17, Title 73, Mississippi Code of 1972;

          (x)  The State Board of Optometry under Chapter 19, Title 73, Mississippi Code of 1972;

          (y)  The regulation of pawnbrokers under Chapter 67, Title 75, Mississippi Code of 1972;

          (z)  The State Board of Pharmacy under Chapter 21, Title 73, Mississippi Code of 1972;

          (aa)  The State Board of Physical Therapy and the regulation of occupational therapists under Chapter 23, Title 73, Mississippi Code of 1972, and Chapter 24, Title 73, Mississippi Code of 1972;

          (bb)  The Mississippi Board of Examiners for Licensed Professional Counselors under Chapter 30, Title 73, Mississippi Code of 1972;

          (cc)  The Board of Psychological Examiners under Chapter 31, Title 73, Mississippi Code of 1972;

          (dd)  The Mississippi Real Estate Commission under Chapter 35, Title 73, Mississippi Code of 1972;

          (ee)  The Mississippi Real Estate Appraiser and Licensing and Certification Board under Chapter 34, Title 73, Mississippi Code of 1972;

          (ff)  The Board of Examiners for Social Workers and Marriage and Family Therapists under Chapter 53, Title 73, Mississippi Code of 1972; and

          (gg)  The Board of Veterinary Medicine under Chapter 39, Title 73, Mississippi Code of 1972.

     SECTION 3.  (1)  Notwithstanding another provision of law, the State Workforce Investment Board or an applicable occupational licensing board shall accept military education, training and service for some or all of the qualifications otherwise required of an applicant for a license or certificate issued under this chapter if:

          (a)  The State Workforce Investment Board or an applicable occupational licensing board determines that the military education, training and service is substantially equivalent to some or all of the qualifications otherwise required of an applicant for a license or certificate issued under this chapter; and

          (b)  The applicant provides satisfactory evidence of successful completion of the education, training or service as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, the United States Reserves, the National Guard of any state, the Military Reserves of any state or the Naval Militia of any state.

     (2)  If the department issues temporary practice permits as authorized by the State Workforce Investment Board or an applicable occupational licensing board, the State Workforce Investment Board or the applicable occupational licensing board shall issue a temporary license or certificate to a person who:

          (a)  Applies to the State Workforce Investment Board or an applicable occupational licensing board in a manner prescribed by the State Workforce Investment Board or the applicable occupational licensing board;

          (b)  Meets the requirements of Section 73-50-1;

          (c)  While in the Armed Forces of the United States or any state, as described in subsection (1) of this section:

              (i)  Held a current license or certificate in another state, district or territory of the United States, practiced in the area of the license or certificate, and maintained the license or certificate in active status before and

at the time of application for a license or certificate under this subsection; or

              (ii)  Was awarded a degree, diploma or certificate by a branch of the Armed Forces of the United States or any state, as described in subsection (1) of this section, that met standards for an equivalent license or a certificate of technical training;

          (d)  If required by the State Workforce Investment Board or applicable occupational licensing board for obtaining a license in the applicant's profession, has been fingerprinted and has provided the fees required by the Department of Public Safety for criminal justice information and a national criminal history record check.  The fingerprints and fees shall be forwarded to the Department of Public Safety to obtain a report of criminal justice information and a national criminal history record check;

          (e)  Has not committed an offense in any jurisdiction that would have constituted grounds for the refusal, suspension or revocation of a license or certificate to practice that occupation under this act at the time the offense was committed;

          (f)  Has not been disciplined by a licensing or credentialing entity in another jurisdiction and is not the subject of an unresolved complaint, review procedure, or disciplinary proceeding conducted by a licensing or credentialing entity in another jurisdiction; and

          (g)  Pays any fees required under this act.

     (3)  The State Workforce Investment Board or applicable occupational licensing board shall expedite the procedure for issuance of a license or certificate under subsection (2) of this section for an applicant who is on active duty.

     (4)  A license or certificate issued under subsection (2) of this section is valid for one hundred eighty (180) days, and may be extended at the discretion of the State Workforce Investment Board or applicable occupational licensing board for one (1) additional one hundred eighty-day period if the holder of the license or certificate applies for an extension on a form approved by the State Workforce Investment Board or applicable occupational licensing board.

     (5)  The State Workforce Investment Board or applicable occupational licensing board may adopt regulations necessary to implement this section.

     SECTION 4.  Section 37-101-13, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     37-101-13.  (1)  It shall be the duty of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning and the boards of trustees of the community colleges to begin immediately a comprehensive study of gaming and related programs, degrees and courses offered.  Following the completion of such study, the board shall make such adjustments as may be found to be necessary in the programs of the various institutions, to the end that the broadest possible educational opportunities shall be offered to the citizens of this state without inefficient and needless duplication.  Subject to the provisions of Section 75-76-34, the board shall, through such officers of the board and through such procedures as it shall see fit to establish, exercise continuing jurisdiction and control over the establishment of new courses of study, new departments and new functions and activities in each institution so that the growth and development of the program of higher education in the state shall proceed in an orderly and rational manner, inefficient and needless duplication may be avoided, and new expanded programs will be undertaken only as the same may become justified, based upon objective criteria to be established by the board.  In carrying out the purposes of this section, particular attention shall be given to the extension programs of the various institutions.  The boards, in conjunction with the chancellor and presidents of the institutions, shall take such steps as may be necessary to improve and coordinate such programs and shall exercise such direct control over the establishment, organization, operation and granting of credit for such programs as may be necessary to accomplish such purposes.

     (2)  The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning and the Mississippi Community College Board shall require the chancellor and presidents of state institutions of higher learning and public community and junior colleges to implement a policy and procedure for the acceptance of academic credit toward a degree or technical program offered by the postsecondary educational institution if an applicant provides satisfactory evidence of successful completion of relevant military education, training or service as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, the United States Reserves, the National Guard of any state, the Military Reserves of any state or the Naval Militia of any state.

     (3)  Each postsecondary educational institution must be maintained and operated, so that:

          (a)  The quality and content of each course or program of instruction, training or study are such as may reasonably and adequately achieve the stated objective for which the course or program is offered;

          (b)  The postsecondary educational institution has or has access to adequate space, equipment, instructional materials, and personnel where applicable to achieve the stated objective

of the course or program of study and to provide education of good quality;

          (c)  The education or experience qualifications of directors, administrators, supervisors and instructors are such as may reasonably ensure that the students will receive education consistent with the objectives of the course or program

of study;

          (d)  The postsecondary educational institution provides a catalog or brochure containing information to prospective students before enrollment, describing:

              (i)  The programs offered;

              (ii)  The program objectives;

              (iii)  The length of the program;

              (iv)  The schedule of tuition, fees and all other charges and expenses necessary for completion of the course of study;

              (v)  The cancellation and refund policies; and                 (vi)  Other material facts concerning the institution and the program or course of instruction that are reasonably likely to affect the decision of the student to enroll, together with any other disclosures specified by the commission by regulation;

          (e)  Upon satisfactory completion of training, the student is given appropriate educational credentials by the postsecondary educational institution, indicating that the course of instruction or study has been satisfactorily completed by the student;

          (f)  Adequate records are maintained by the institution to show attendance, progress or grades, and that satisfactory standards are enforced relating to attendance, progress, and performance;

          (g)  The postsecondary educational institution is maintained and operated in compliance with all pertinent ordinances and laws relating to the safety and health of persons on the premises of the postsecondary educational institution;

          (h)  The institution is financially sound and capable of fulfilling its commitments to students;

          (i)  Neither the postsecondary educational institution nor its agents engage in advertising, sales, collection, credit or other practices which are false, deceptive, misleading or unfair;

          (j)  The student housing owned, maintained or approved by the postsecondary educational institution is appropriate, safe and adequate;

          (k)  The postsecondary educational institution has a fair and equitable cancellation and refund policy;

          (l)  The charges set by the postsecondary educational institution for tuition, fees, books and supplies are fair and equitable; and

          (m)  The postsecondary educational institution accepts military education, training, or service credit or hours toward a degree or technical program offered by the institution if:

              (i)  The postsecondary educational institution otherwise accepts transfer credits or hours; and

              (ii)  The credit or hours transfer process meets the requirements of the accrediting body of the postsecondary educational institution or its applicable governing entity.

     SECTION 5.  Section 37-153-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     37-153-7.  (1)  There is created the Mississippi State Workforce Investment Board.  The Mississippi State Workforce Investment Board shall be composed of forty-one (41) voting members, of which a majority shall be representatives of business and industry in accordance with the federal Workforce Investment Act.

          (a)  The Governor shall appoint the following members of the board to serve a term of four (4) years:

              (i)  The Executive Director of the Mississippi Association of Supervisors, or his/her designee;

              (ii)  The Executive Director of the Mississippi Municipal League;

              (iii)  One (1) elected mayor;

              (iv)  One (1) representative of an apprenticeship program in the state;

              (v)  One (1) representative of labor organizations, who has been nominated by state labor federations;

              (vi)  One (1) representative of individuals and organizations that has experience with respect to youth activities;

              (vii)  One (1) representative of the Mississippi Association of Planning and Development Districts;

              (viii)  One (1) representative from each of the four (4) workforce areas in the state, who has been nominated by the community colleges in each respective area, with the consent of the elected county supervisors within the respective workforce area;

               (ix)  The chair of the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges; and

              (x)  Twenty-one (21) representatives of business owners nominated by business and industry organizations, which may include representatives of the various planning and development districts in Mississippi.

          (b)  The following state officials shall be members of the board:

              (i)  The Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Employment Security;

              (ii)  The Executive Director of the Department of Rehabilitation Services;

              (iii)  The State Superintendent of Public Education;

              (iv)  The Executive Director of the Mississippi Development Authority;

              (v)  The Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services;

              (vi)  The Executive Director of the Mississippi Community College Board; and

              (vii)  The Commissioner of the Institutions of Higher Learning.

          (c)  The Governor, or his designee, shall serve as a member.

          (d)  Four (4) legislators, who shall serve in a nonvoting capacity, two (2) of whom shall be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor from the membership of the Mississippi Senate, and two (2) of whom shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House from the membership of the Mississippi House of Representatives.

          (e)  The membership of the board shall reflect the diversity of the State of Mississippi.

          (f)  The Governor shall designate the Chairman of the Mississippi State Workforce Investment Board from among the voting members of the board, and a quorum of the board shall consist of a majority of the voting members of the board.

          (g)  The voting members of the board who are not state employees shall be entitled to reimbursement of their reasonable expenses incurred in carrying out their duties under this chapter, from any funds available for that purpose.

     (2)  The Mississippi Department of Employment Security shall establish limits on administrative costs for each portion of Mississippi's workforce development system consistent with the federal Workforce Investment Act or any future federal workforce legislation.

     (3)  The Mississippi State Workforce Investment Board shall have the following duties:

          (a)  Develop and submit to the Governor a strategic plan for an integrated state workforce development system that aligns resources and structures the system to more effectively and efficiently meet the demands of Mississippi's employers and job seekers.  This plan will comply with the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998, as amended, the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 and amendments and successor legislation to these acts;

          (b)  Assist the Governor in the development and continuous improvement of the statewide workforce investment system that shall include:

              (i)  Development of linkages in order to assure coordination and nonduplication among programs and activities; and

              (ii)  Review local workforce development plans that reflect the use of funds from the federal Workforce Investment Act, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, the Wagner-Peyser Act and the amendment or successor legislation to the acts, and the Mississippi Comprehensive Workforce Training and Education Consolidation Act;

          (c)  Recommend the designation of local workforce investment areas as required in Section 116 of the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014.  There shall be four (4) workforce investment areas that are generally aligned with the planning and development district structure in Mississippi.  Planning and development districts will serve as the fiscal agents to manage Workforce Investment Act funds, oversee and support the local workforce investment boards aligned with the area and the local programs and activities as delivered by the one-stop employment and training system.  The planning and development districts will perform this function through the provisions of the county cooperative service districts created under Sections 19-3-101 through 19-3-115; however, planning and development districts currently performing this function under the Interlocal Cooperation Act of 1974, Sections 17-13-1 through 17-13-17, may continue to do so;

          (d)  Assist the Governor in the development of an allocation formula for the distribution of funds for adult employment and training activities and youth activities to local workforce investment areas;

          (e)  Recommend comprehensive, results-oriented measures that shall be applied to all of Mississippi's workforce development system programs;

          (f)  Assist the Governor in the establishment and management of a one-stop employment and training system conforming to the requirements of the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, as amended, recommending policy for implementing the Governor's approved plan for employment and training activities and services within the state.  In developing this one-stop career operating system, the Mississippi State Workforce Investment Board, in conjunction with local workforce investment boards, shall:

              (i)  Design broad guidelines for the delivery of workforce development programs;

              (ii)  Identify all existing delivery agencies and other resources;

              (iii)  Define appropriate roles of the various agencies to include an analysis of service providers' strengths and weaknesses;

              (iv)  Determine the best way to utilize the various agencies to deliver services to recipients; and

              (v)  Develop a financial plan to support the delivery system that shall, at a minimum, include an accountability system;

          (g)  Assist the Governor in reducing duplication of services by urging the local workforce investment boards to designate the local community/junior college as the operator of the WIN Job Center.  Incentive grants of Two Hundred Thousand Dollars ($200,000.00) from federal Workforce Investment Act funds may be awarded to the local workforce boards where the community/junior college district is designated as the WIN Job Center.  These grants must be provided to the community and junior colleges for the extraordinary costs of coordinating with the Workforce Investment Act, advanced technology centers and advanced skills centers.  In no case shall these funds be used to supplant state resources being used for operation of workforce development programs;

          (h)  To provide authority, in accordance with any executive order of the Governor, for developing the necessary collaboration among state agencies at the highest level for accomplishing the purposes of this chapter;

          (i)  To monitor the effectiveness of the workforce development centers and WIN job centers;

          (j)  To advise the Governor, public schools, community/junior colleges and institutions of higher learning on effective school-to-work transition policies and programs that link students moving from high school to higher education and students moving between community colleges and four-year institutions in pursuit of academic and technical skills training;

          (k)  To work with industry to identify barriers that inhibit the delivery of quality workforce education and the responsiveness of educational institutions to the needs of industry;

          (l)  To provide periodic assessments on effectiveness and results of the overall Mississippi comprehensive workforce development system and district councils; and

          (m)  To assist the Governor in carrying out any other responsibility required by the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998, as amended and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, successor legislation and amendments.

     (4)  The Mississippi State Workforce Investment Board shall coordinate all training programs and funds in the State of Mississippi.

     Each state agency director responsible for workforce training activities shall advise the Mississippi State Workforce Investment Board of appropriate federal and state requirements.  Each such state agency director shall remain responsible for the actions of his agency; however, each state agency and director shall work cooperatively, and shall be individually and collectively responsible to the Governor for the successful implementation of the statewide workforce investment system.  The Governor, as the Chief Executive Officer of the state, shall have complete authority to enforce cooperation among all entities within the state that utilize federal or state funding for the conduct of workforce development activities.

     (5)  The State Workforce Investment Board shall establish a Rules Committee.  The Rules Committee, in consultation with the full board, shall be designated as the body with the sole authority to promulgate rules and regulations for distribution of Mississippi Works Funds created in Section 71-5-353.  The State Workforce Investment Board Rules Committee shall develop and submit rules and regulations in accordance with the Mississippi Administrative Procedures Act, within sixty (60) days of March 21, 2016.  The State Workforce Investment Board Rules Committee shall consist of the following State Workforce Investment Board members:

          (a)  The Executive Director of the Mississippi Development Authority;

          (b)  The Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Employment Security;

          (c)  The Executive Director of the Mississippi Community College Board;

          (d)  The Chair of the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges;

          (e)  The Chair of the State Workforce Investment Board;

          (f)  A representative from the workforce areas selected by the Mississippi Association of Workforce Areas, Inc.;

          (g)  A business representative currently serving on the board, selected by the Chairman of the State Workforce Investment Board; and 

          (h)  Two (2) legislators, who shall serve in a nonvoting capacity, one (1) of whom shall be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor from the membership of the Mississippi Senate and one (1) of whom shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives from the membership of the Mississippi House of Representatives.

     (6)  The Mississippi State Workforce Investment Board shall create and implement performance metrics for the Mississippi Works Fund to determine the added value to the local and state economy and the contribution to the future growth of the state economy.  A report on the performance of the fund shall be made to the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the House of Representatives annually, throughout the life of the fund.

     (7)  The Mississippi State Workforce Investment Board, in conjunction with the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning and the Mississippi Community College Board shall facilitate the development and implementation of a statewide

policy and procedure that provides for the acceptance of credit or hours toward a degree or technical program offered by a vocational or technical training center in the state for an applicant who provides satisfactory evidence of successful completion of relevant military education, training or service as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, the United States Reserves, the National Guard of any state, the Military Reserves of any state, or the Naval Militia of any state.

     SECTION 6.  Section 73-50-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:

     73-50-1.  (1)  As used in this section, the term:

          (a)  "License" means any license (other than a privilege license), certificate or other evidence of qualification that an individual is required to obtain before he or she may engage in or represent himself or herself to be a member of a particular profession or occupation.

          (b)  "Occupational licensing board" means any state board, commission, department or other agency in Mississippi that is established for the primary purpose of regulating the entry of persons into, and/or the conduct of persons within, a particular profession or occupation, and which is authorized to issue licenses.  For the purposes of this section, the State Department of Education shall be considered an occupational licensing board when issuing teacher licenses under Section 37-3-2.

     (2)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an occupational licensing board shall issue a license, certification or registration to a military-trained applicant to allow the applicant to lawfully practice the applicant's occupation in Mississippi if, upon application to an occupational licensing board, the applicant satisfies the following conditions:

          (a)  Has been awarded a military occupational specialty and has done all of the following at a level that is substantially equivalent to or exceeds the requirements for licensure, certification or registration of the occupational licensing board from which the applicant is seeking licensure, certification or registration in this state:  completed a military program of training, completed testing or equivalent training and experience as determined by the board, and performed in the occupational specialty.

          (b)  Has engaged in the active practice of the occupation for which the person is seeking a license, certification or permit from the occupational licensing board in this state for at least two (2) of the five (5) years preceding the date of the application under this section.

          (c)  Has not committed any act in any jurisdiction that would have constituted grounds for refusal, suspension or revocation of a license to practice that occupation in this state at the time the act was committed.

          (d)  Pays any fees required by the occupational licensing board for which the applicant is seeking licensure, certification or registration in this state.

     (3)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an occupational licensing board shall issue a license, certification or registration to a military spouse to allow the military spouse to lawfully practice the military spouse's occupation in Mississippi if, upon application to an occupational licensing board, the military spouse satisfies the following conditions:

          (a)  Holds a current license, certification or registration from another jurisdiction, and that jurisdiction's requirements for licensure, certification or registration are substantially equivalent to or exceed the requirements for licensure, certification or registration of the occupational licensing board for which the applicant is seeking licensure, certification or registration in this state.

          (b)  Can demonstrate competency in the occupation through methods as determined by the board, such as having completed continuing education units or having had recent experience for at least two (2) of the five (5) years preceding the date of the application under this section.

          (c)  Has not committed any act in any jurisdiction that would have constituted grounds for refusal, suspension or revocation of a license to practice that occupation in this state at the time the act was committed.

          (d)  Is in good standing and has not been disciplined by the agency that had jurisdiction to issue the license, certification or permit.

          (e)  Pays any fees required by the occupational licensing board for which the applicant is seeking licensure, certification or registration in this state.

     (4)  All relevant experience of a military service member in the discharge of official duties or, for a military spouse, all relevant experience, including full-time and part-time experience, regardless of whether in a paid or volunteer capacity, shall be credited in the calculation of years of practice in an occupation as required under subsection (2) or (3) of this section.

     (5)  A nonresident licensed, certified or registered under this section shall be entitled to the same rights and subject to the same obligations as required of a resident licensed, certified or registered by an occupational licensing board in this state.

     (6)  An occupational licensing board may issue a temporary practice permit to a military-trained applicant or military spouse licensed, certified or registered in another jurisdiction while the military-trained applicant or military spouse is satisfying the requirements for licensure under subsection (2) or (3) of this section if that jurisdiction has licensure, certification or registration standards substantially equivalent to the standards for licensure, certification or registration of an occupational licensing board in this state.  The military-trained applicant or military spouse may practice under the temporary permit until a license, certification or registration is granted or until a notice to deny a license, certification or registration is issued in accordance with rules adopted by the occupational licensing board.

     (7)  An occupational licensing board may adopt rules necessary to implement this section.

     (8)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a military-trained applicant or military spouse from proceeding under the existing licensure, certification or registration requirements established by an occupational licensing board in this state.

     (9)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to apply to the practice of law as regulated under Section 73-3-1 et seq.

     SECTION 7.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2019.


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