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Bill to Review State Job Licensing Will Reach Full Legislature

Legislative Bill 299, a bill to review Nebraska’s job licensing laws introduced by state Sen. Laura Ebke, has been approved by the Nebraska Legislature’s Government, Military, and Veterans Affairs Committee.

The proposal would require the Legislature to scrutinize licensing laws and proposals for their impact on Nebraska’s workforce, competition, and consumer protection.

LB299 is supported by the Platte Institute and the ACLU of Nebraska.

Twenty percent of the job licenses on the books would be reviewed each year in a five-year cycle to identify areas where it’s possible to regulate professions and protect the public through less restrictive means.

LB299 would also enable workers with a conviction history to petition job licensing boards for about of their eligibility before going through the process of training and applying for a license. The ability of boards to deny applicants with a criminal history would be narrowed to those with a felony record that poses a clear risk in the profession for which they are applying.

Sen. Ebke now plans to make LB299 her priority bill for the 2018 legislative session, all but assuring that it will receive time to be voted on by the entire Legislature in this year’s short session.

The bill has earned tripartisan support in the Legislature, with Ebke, a registered Libertarian, Republican Sens. John McCollister and Tom Brewer, and Democratic Sen. Justin Wayne cosponsoring the legislation.

“A Government Committee executive session on LB299 was held [Thursday] night. Chairman Murante confirmed to me that the bill was advanced with 5 votes, and 3 present and not voting,” said Sen. Ebke.

At the time of this publication, the vote record has not been released in a committee statement.

With legislative debate forthcoming on LB299, the Platte Institute will continue to share the stories of workers impacted by excessive red tape, and show how a framework for reviewing Nebraska’s job licensing laws will help create a pathway to a better paycheck for more Nebraskans.

“LB299 is one of the Platte Institute’s top priorities in the 2018 legislative session, because it will help give power back to Nebraskans to cut the hidden tax of red tape that is creating barriers for working people across our state,” said Jim Vokal, Chief Executive Officer of the Platte Institute.

“Advancing this legislation is just the first of many steps, but with a new framework for making sure our job licensing laws really serve the public interest, Nebraska can make great economic progress in the years ahead,” Vokal said.

Photo Courtesy the Nebraska Legislature