Bill Text: MS SB2759 | 2020 | Regular Session | Engrossed


Bill Title: Fresh Start Act of 2019; revise applicability of.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 6-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2020-03-25 - Referred To Workforce Development;Judiciary B [SB2759 Detail]

Download: Mississippi-2020-SB2759-Engrossed.html

MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2020 Regular Session

To: Labor; Judiciary, Division B

By: Senator(s) Horhn, Jackson (11th), Norwood, Simmons (12th), Jackson (32nd), Simmons (13th)

Senate Bill 2759

(As Passed the Senate)

AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 73-77-5, 73-77-7 AND 73-77-9, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE FRESH START ACT OF 2019 SHALL APPLY NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

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

     SECTION 1.  Section 73-77-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     73-77-5. * * *  Absent applicable state law  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person shall be disqualified from pursuing, practicing, or engaging in any occupation for which a license is required solely or in part because of a prior conviction of a crime, unless the crime for which an applicant was convicted directly relates to the duties and responsibilities for the licensed occupation.  The provisions of this section shall not apply to the admission or reinstatement of any person to The Mississippi Bar as an attorney in good standing authorized to practice law.

     SECTION 2.  Section 73-77-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     73-77-7.  (1) * * *  Absent applicable state law  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, licensing authorities shall not have in any rulemaking for their qualifications for licensure vague or generic terms including, but not limited to, "moral turpitude," "any felony," and "good character." * * *  Absent applicable state law  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, licensing authorities may only consider criminal records that are specific and directly related to the duties and responsibilities for the licensed occupation when evaluating applicants.

     (2)  The licensing authority shall use the clear and convincing standard of proof in examining the factors to determine whether an applicant with a disqualifying criminal conviction will be denied a license. * * *  Absent applicable state law  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the licensing authority shall make its determination based on the following factors:

          (a)  The nature and seriousness of the crime for which the individual was convicted;

          (b)  The passage of time since the commission of the crime;

          (c)  The relationship of the crime to the ability, capacity, and fitness required to perform the duties and discharge the responsibilities of the occupation; and

          (d)  Any evidence of rehabilitation or treatment undertaken by the individual that might mitigate against a direct relation.

     Nothing in this section shall preclude any board, commission or other licensing entity from granting licenses to individuals convicted of disqualifying convictions, after considering the factors listed under this subsection (2).

     (3)  All licensing authorities shall meet the requirements listed in subsection (1) by one hundred twenty (120) days after July 1, * * * 2019 2020.

     (4)  For licensing authorities, the requirements listed in subsections (1) and (2) also apply to any new occupational licenses created after July 1, 2019.

     (5)  The licensing authority shall adopt necessary rules for the implementation of this section.

     (6)  The provisions of this section shall not apply to the admission or reinstatement of any person to The Mississippi Bar as an attorney in good standing authorized to practice law.

     (7)  For any board, commission or other licensing entity with an existing procedure for hearings and appeals following the denial of a license codified in rules or statute on January 1, 2020, those existing procedures for hearings and appeals shall supersede the provisions of this section.

     SECTION 3.  Section 73-77-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     73-77-9.  (1) * * *  Absent applicable state law  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an individual with a criminal record may petition a licensing authority at any time for a determination of whether the individual's criminal record will disqualify the individual from obtaining a license.  This petition shall include details on the individual's criminal record.  The licensing authority shall inform the individual of his standing within thirty (30) days of receiving the petition from the applicant.  The licensing authority may charge a fee to recoup its costs not to exceed Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00) for each petition.

     (2)  If a licensing authority denies an individual a license solely or in part because of the individual's prior conviction of a crime, the licensing authority shall notify the individual in writing of the following:

          (a)  The grounds and reasons for the denial or disqualification;

          (b)  That the individual has the right to a hearing to challenge the licensing authority's decision;

          (c)  The earliest date the person may reapply for a license; and

          (d)  That evidence of rehabilitation may be considered upon reapplication.

     Nothing in this section shall preclude any board, commission or other licensing entity from granting licenses to individuals convicted of disqualifying convictions, after considering the factors listed under this subsection (2).

     (3)  If an applicant's criminal history does not require a denial of a license under * * * applicable state law, any written determination by the licensing authority that an applicant's criminal conviction is directly related to the duties and responsibilities for the licensed occupation must be documented in written findings for each of the preceding factors under subsection (2) by clear and convincing evidence sufficient for a reviewing court.

     (4)  In any administrative hearing or civil litigation authorized under this section, the licensing authority shall carry the burden of proof on the question of whether the applicant's criminal conviction directly relates to the occupation for which the license is sought.

     (5)  The licensing authority shall adopt necessary rules for the implementation of this section.

     (6)  The provisions of this section shall not apply to the admission or reinstatement of any person to The Mississippi Bar as an attorney in good standing authorized to practice law.

     (7)  For any board, commission or other licensing entity with an existing procedure for hearings and appeals following the denial of a license codified in rules or statute on January 1, 2020, those existing procedures for hearings and appeals shall supersede the provisions of this section.

     SECTION 4.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2020, and shall stand repealed from and after June 30, 2020.


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