Tackle the Tape sets out to cut regulations that are anticompetitive and do not substantially further the safety and well-being of our citizens. The Secretary of State’s Office has always served as a premier resource for the business community, and Secretary Michael Watson understands the impact burdensome red tape regulations have on our state’s economy. Tackle the Tape will help increase economic opportunities for all Mississippians by promoting competition and encouraging innovation and job growth.
                    THE PLAN
To efficiently review all 118,000 regulations in Mississippi’s regulatory code, we have outlined a comprehensive strategic plan called 29 by 29.
This review plan will serve as a roadmap within the Tackle the Tape initiative with an end goal of reviewing every regulation for all 29 occupational licensing boards and commissions by the year 2029. Click here to see the full plan.
Mississippi Administrative Code
The governing code of regulations for Mississippi is known as the Mississippi Administrative Code (Admin. Code). The Admin. Code contains roughly 118,000 restrictions and 9.3 million words. It would take an individual 518 hours, or almost 13 weeks, to read the Admin. Code from beginning to end.
Currently, per capita, Mississippi is the
most regulated state in the South.

Over the last 60 years, the
number of jobs requiring
occupational licenses in
Mississippi has grown from
4% to nearly 20%.

According to the Justice
Institute, Mississippi loses
out on more than 13,000
job-creating opportunities
each year due to our
licensing regulations.

A study from the National
Bureau of Economic Research
found that occupational
licensing reduces Mississippi’s
labor supply by 17 to 27%.
The list below includes a few examples of the many ways our Tackle the Tape initiative helps remove burdensome regulations which stand in the way of our economy. STAY TUNED FOR ADDITIONAL UPDATES.
Since becoming a member of the Occupational Licensing Review Commission (OLRC), Secretary Michael Watson has voted on at least 106 regulation changes that help cut our state’s regulatory burden.
Click here to view OLRC Resolutions.
House Bill 1104 (2020):
  • Created new authority for the Occupational Licensing Review Commission to review existing regulations to determine compliance with state policy.
    Representative Jerry Turner: “The greatest challenge in right sizing government is haltering regulations to insure fluid and efficient operation. The Occupational Licensing Review Commission (OLRC), must have the authority to censor regulations to avoid over-regulating. Removing undue regulation will contribute to the spirit of free enterprise, and a government of the people.”

    House Bill 1263 (2021):
  • Provides for recognition of out-of-state occupational licenses for licensees moving to Mississippi.
    Representative Becky Currie: “I am so proud that we passed House Bill 1263 to help cut the red tape of getting a license and being able to work in Mississippi. This goes hand in hand with the Secretary of State’s Tackle the Tape initiative. For too long, state agencies have made rules that made it difficult for people to work in Mississippi because they did not want the competition moving in. We want people to move here and raise their families. We have a wonderful state, and I want to join Secretary Michael Watson in his efforts of tackling the tape across the Magnolia state!”

    Senate Bill 2626 (2021):
  • Amends the Mississippi Business Corporation Act to allow corporations to hold annual or special shareholder meetings remotely. Removing the in-person restriction.
    Senator Chris Caughman: “I am proud we passed Senate Bill 2626, which allows corporations the option to hold annual or shareholder meetings remotely. Anytime we pass legislation that creates efficiency and reduces expenses, it is a good day! Thanks to Michael Watson and the Secretary of State Office’s support of this bill and also for the work on “tackling the tape” in Mississippi.”
  • Carmigo
  • Partnered with the Mississippi Department of Revenue to resolve an unnecessary permitting issue resulting in Carmigo opening its headquarters here in Mississippi and creating 50 new jobs.
    Andrew Warmath, founder and CEO of Carmigo: Laws can sometimes be detrimental towards innovation and progress. As a new technology startup in Mississippi, we faced some of those laws that were hindering our growth. We reached out to Secretary Watson and his response was very refreshing. He was quick to bring the necessary parties together to find an amicable resolution.

    MDAH Facility Permit Regulation
  • Partnered with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History to resolve an issue caused by a facility permit regulation which was keeping a business from being able to begin operating in Mississippi.

    Joseph Cure: As a businessman on the Coast, I am appreciative of the efforts of Secretary Watson to ensure even the smallest of regulations don’t go unchecked. With Michael’s assistance, we were able to work through the red tape that hindered completion on our new business development. He formulated a strategy to ensure a discretionary rule was given proper consideration and promoted collaboration between state agencies, ultimately enhancing economic growth for Mississippi.

    MSDH New Facility Permit
  • Partnered with the Mississippi State Department of Health to amend its site assessment checklist to reflect accurate information and remove unnecessary, burdensome requirements.

    Handicap Driver’s License Issue
  • Partnered with the Mississippi Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services (MDRS) to remove a barrier to obtaining a driver’s license and vehicle controls for a disabled citizen of Mississippi.
  • Resolved in July of 2021.
    You can play a role in cutting back on red tape and government bureaucracy. If you know of any costly, ineffective, burdensome or unenforced regulation affecting you or someone you know, please report it below.
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