Pushing government out of the way for business growth in Mississippi

The Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office is introducing the Tackle the Tape initiative, to increase economic opportunities for Mississippians by promoting competition and encouraging innovation and job growth.

Image courtesy of the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office

The Secretary of State’s office says the initiative is designed to cut regulations that are anti-competitive and do not substantially further the safety and well-being of citizens.

According to Secretary of State Michael Watson, Mississippi’s regulatory burden leads the way among southern states with roughly 118,000 restrictive regulations on the books. He also stated that according to the Justice Institute, Mississippi loses out on more than 13,000 job-creating opportunities each year due to our licensing regulations.

“I’ve heard too many stories and witnessed numerous Mississippi businesses suffer from the unfortunate consequences of overregulation,” said Watson. “If we truly want to create more opportunities and breed renown entrepreneurs, we have to get government out of the way.

As promised when I ran for office, cutting the regulatory burden on Mississippi businesses was, is, and will continue to be a priority for our team. Our voluminous regulation costs us 13,000 jobs per year, which is the equivalent of a new Ingalls Shipbuilding or Nissan locating here on an annual basis. We must do better!”

Watson said, “With the passage of Representative Jerry Turner’s House Bill 1104 during the 2020 legislative session, we’re excited about the Occupational Licensing Review Commission’s (OLRC) new authority to review all existing regulations subject to the jurisdiction of an occupational licensing board, and not just the newly proposed regulations. The OLRC is composed of the Governor, Secretary of State, and Attorney General. With COVID-19 slowing business growth and development in our state, there has never been a better time to tackle occupational licensing reform.”

“To be clear, Tackle the Tape is not an attack on our state’s licensing boards. It’s a partnership to further increase Mississippians’ economic opportunities while keeping their safety and well-being at the forefront. Our office sent a letter to all 29 occupational licensing boards under the jurisdiction of the OLRC, encouraging them to partner with us and help lead the charge to a freer, more business-friendly Mississippi. Their input is a vital part of this process.” said Watson.  “Our agency has always served as a premier resource for the business community, and we look forward to “ridding the red” in Mississippi.”