If you hold a professional license in Mississippi, the law used to say that you could not have any criminal convictions. You would be unable to secure a license at all if you had any type of background.
According to the Mississippi Center for Public Policy, the Mississippi Fresh Start Act or SB 2781 stops professional licensing boards from having a ban against all criminal convictions or having good moral character policies that ban all criminal convictions.
A so-called blanket ban means that if you have a criminal record, you automatically cannot get a professional license. The act stops boards from putting blanket bans in place. They will have to look over your application and consider the circumstances of your criminal conviction before denying you a license.
Good moral character clauses usually were put in place just as a way to institute a blanket ban. Under the act, license agencies must remove all clauses like this.
The bill had a rough time getting through the state legislature. It lost steam in the Senate due to a rejection of the first draft. However, a motion brought it back on the table, and after further discussion, it passed both chambers.
The idea behind the act is to help people with a criminal past have the chance at a fresh start and the ability to work in a field in which they can build a career. It is part of the movement to help ex-felons avoid reoffending by giving them more chances at success once they are out of prison.