Mississippi Becomes Fourth State to Sign Interstate Counseling Compact into Law

Mar 22, 2022
The American Counseling Association and licensed professional counselors nationwide are celebrating the signing of Mississippi House Bill 1056 in support of the Counseling Compact, which will authorize counselors to practice across state lines once enacted.


Mississippi has become the fourth of 10 states needed to enact the Counseling Compact, an interstate compact allowing professional counselors licensed and residing in a compact member state to practice in other compact member states without the need for multiple licenses. Governor Tate Reeves just signed Mississippi H.B. 1056 into law, marking another major milestone for the initiative. 

Funded by the American Counseling Association and led by the National Center for Interstate Compacts, the compact was finalized in December 2020 and has been passed by the Georgia, Maryland, Alabama and Mississippi legislatures. Currently, the Compact has been introduced in 19 states this legislative session and the legislation is in drafting in two additional states for introduction this year. We anticipate reaching the ten-state threshold necessary to trigger the establishment of the public commission by the end of the calendar year. Once 10 states have enacted the legislation, the compact will go into effect, enabling professional counselors who meet uniform licensure requirements to quickly obtain a privilege to practice, which is equivalent to a license to practice counseling in another state. 

Compacts provide a pathway for counselors to move seamlessly from one state to another through an agreement among states to recognize each other’s licenses. Currently, counselors have difficulty transferring their licenses from one state/jurisdiction to another because of the independent nature of jurisdictional licensing rules and regulations. There is little consistency regarding the requirements for licensure and these varying requirements make it difficult to transfer one’s license. 

Spearheaded by the Mississippi Counseling Association and lobbying firm Capitol Resources, LLC, the passage of H.B. 1056 would not have been possible without Rep. Kevin Felsher, Rep. Sam Mims, Sen. David Blount, Sen. Hob Bryan, members of the MS House of Representatives, the MS Senate and the Office of the Governor. The American Counseling Association, Mississippi State Board of Examiners for Licensed Professional Counselors and the National Center for Interstate Compacts were key integral parts in ensuring the language of the bill is implemental, efficient and will be beneficial for the state of Mississippi. 

In addition to enactment in Georgia, Maryland, Alabama and now Mississippi, Counseling Compact legislation has passed the legislature in Utah, West Virginia and Florida where they now await Governors’ signature. For more, including a list of states the compact is pending within, please visit CounselingCompact.org

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