Regulatory Reform

September 2021: Nebraska unemployment reached new record low

September 2021: Nebraska unemployment reached new record low

In August, Nebraska saw its lowest unemployment rate since the state started keeping records of unemployment data in 1976. At 2.2%, the August rate was also the lowest in the nation. Nebraska’s September unemployment figures have now been released and the state is again posting the lowest unemployment rate in the nation and the lowest rate...

By Sarah Curry

Nebraska veteran wins battle for civilian career opportunity

Nebraska veteran wins battle for civilian career opportunity

Here’s an update in the story of Bridgeport, Nebraska veteran Mike Beyer. Upon completing eight years in the U.S. Navy as a construction electrician, along with an 8,000-hour apprenticeship in the military, Mike was prevented from testing for a Nebraska license to begin his civilian career. In this video, Mike explains how sharing his story...

Study ranks ease of doing business in Nebraska’s largest cities

Study ranks ease of doing business in Nebraska’s largest cities

A report titled “Doing Business in North America” was published by the Center for the Study of Economic Liberty at Arizona State University. This study focuses on business regulations across the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Interestingly, this study’s ranking is based on cities, and Omaha and Lincoln are included in the index. These types...

By Sarah Curry

Biden executive order seeks to improve market for workers

Biden executive order seeks to improve market for workers

An article in the New York Times today suggests that the Biden administration is looking carefully at issuing an executive order aimed at “increasing competition in the labor market.” The order would address the issue of both noncompete agreements and of unnecessary occupational licensing restrictions. Arguably, both of these things prevent workers from looking for...

By Laura Ebke

Case Study: How We Helped Create More Jobs in Nebraska

Case Study: How We Helped Create More Jobs in Nebraska

Nebraska has more jobs available than people to fill them. That can make job creation seem like an unimportant issue for the state.  But for Nebraska to grow and meet its workforce needs, it needs to offer economic opportunities for people from all walks of life and all communities. Recent census figures show Nebraska trails...

By Jim Vokal

Highlights of the 2021 Nebraska legislative session

Highlights of the 2021 Nebraska legislative session

The first session of the 107th Nebraska Legislature has adjourned Sine Die, concluding regular legislative business in Lincoln until 2022. Now that all the legislating (except the forthcoming special session on redistricting) is complete, let’s summarize some of the ways senators expanded economic opportunities and freedoms for Nebraskans in 2021. During the session, the Platte Institute weighed...

By Nicole Fox

In Nebraska, cocktails to-go are here to stay

In Nebraska, cocktails to-go are here to stay

The hospitality industry was one of the hardest hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading many states including Nebraska to allow restaurants and bars to sell cocktails and/or spirits to-go to generate more revenue. Today, state lawmakers gave final approval to a bill making that temporary regulatory relief measure a permanent policy in Nebraska, along with...

By Nicole Fox

Studies suggest hope for rural Nebraska requires cutting red tape

Studies suggest hope for rural Nebraska requires cutting red tape

A series of stories and studies released recently suggest a grim future ahead for rural Nebraska if the state, counties, and cities don’t make it easier for young people to return to their hometowns. A recent analysis of census data shows that 78% of the counties in Nebraska (or 72 of the 93 counties) lost...

By Laura Ebke

Laura Ebke talks job licensing and Truth in Taxation on LIBA livestream

Laura Ebke talks job licensing and Truth in Taxation on LIBA livestream

Platte Institute Senior Fellow Laura Ebke joined Bud Synhorst of the Lincoln Independent Business Association to discuss Nebraska’s progress on job licensing reform and an advancing property tax transparency measure.

Tax attorney, community philanthropist, bring new perspectives to Platte Institute board

Tax attorney, community philanthropist, bring new perspectives to Platte Institute board

Jo Ellen Stock, Assistant Vice President of State and Local Taxes for Union Pacific, and Lori Scott, an Omaha-area philanthropist with a background in education and health care, have been elected to the Platte Institute’s board of directors. The board of directors currently has 11 members who are responsible for overseeing the organization’s mission and...

Study suggests licensing restrictions for engineers may limit opportunities for minorities

Study suggests licensing restrictions for engineers may limit opportunities for minorities

A recent study published by The Center for Public Integrity suggests that licensing restrictions for Professional Engineers in many states may be disproportionately limiting the opportunities for Black engineers. Take the story of Ida Habtemichael, who has spent 14 years working as an engineer for Micron Technology, but who would have difficulty getting licensed as...

By Laura Ebke

Should Nebraska license journalists?

Should Nebraska license journalists?

Last week, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts’ administration announced a new method for “credentialing” journalists to participate in gubernatorial press conferences. The new policy would require those who wish to have credentials to submit answers to questions about their organization’s business model, as well as a notarized letter from their manager. The policy was apparently in...

By Laura Ebke

Nebraska lawmakers approve expanded telehealth access

Nebraska lawmakers approve expanded telehealth access

The Nebraska Legislature has unanimously passed a bill supported by the Platte Institute which makes pandemic emergency changes to telehealth regulations permanent. LB400 had previously been advanced out of the Health and Human Services Committee and prioritized by its sponsor, Sen. John Arch. Prior to the pandemic, accessing telehealth services meant that individuals had to...

By Nicole Fox