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Parson expands license reciprocity in Missouri


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — As Missouri continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Mike Parson signed a bill into law that will expand licensing reciprocity in the state.

HB 2046, sponsored by Rep. Derek Grier, allows individuals who hold professional licenses in other states or the District of Columbia to acquire an equal license in Missouri for certain jobs. Current law only allowed for reciprocity for Missouri citizens and excluded licenses for certain workers in the health care and public education fields. 

This bill removed those “barriers,” the governor said. 

“By expanding license reciprocity, HB 2046 will eliminate governmental barriers to employment and allow citizens to become licensed faster when moving or needing to find work in Missouri,” Parson said. “This will not only help fill critical jobs in our economy but also highlight Missouri as an ideal state to live and work.”

HB 2046 allows any individual who has a current, valid license to reciprocity at the same level in Missouri, opening a number of professions — including engineers and land surveyors — to reciprocity. 

“This is really exciting. I appreciate Gov. Parson signing and Rep. Grier spearheading such important legislation that will remove lots of unnecessary barriers from Missouri’s economy,” Shoshana Weissmann, a fellow at the R Street Institute in Washington, D.C., told The Missouri Times. “Grier’s servant’s heart and nerdy mind is going to help lots of people get back to work.”

The bill also establishes the Fresh Start Act and Expanded Workforce Act, which bans occupational licensing boards from denying licenses based on criminal history, with the exception of violent or sexual crimes or crimes directly related to the licensed profession.

Parson also signed SB 599 Monday, which increased the amount of money that can be invested in Missouri FIRST by the Treasurer’s Office. Missouri FIRST invests in small businesses, agriculture, and governmental entities through low-interest loans provided by the office and qualified lenders. 

“Missouri FIRST is a valuable program for small businesses and farmers across the state—and one that I’m especially proud to oversee as Treasurer because it puts the state’s investment portfolio to work in Missouri. Since taking office I have worked to make this program more beneficial for those who use it and to ensure that the program remains available to those who need it,” Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick said in a statement. “Today’s action will help do both.”

Additionally, Parson signed crime reform bill SB 600 into law Monday. 

EDITOR’S NOTE: For up-to-date information on coronavirus, check with the CDC and DHSS.