The Full Platter

Arizona law avoids regulatory capture of job licensing laws

Arizona law avoids regulatory capture of job licensing laws

An Arizona bill just signed into law promises to reduce the dangers of “regulatory capture” in occupational licensing boards. Political scientists and public policy institutes concerned with transparency in governance often talk about the notion of regulatory capture. A quick Google search to define this term yields results that are different in tone, but point...

By Laura Ebke

Hall County property taxpayers discuss impact of rising valuations

Hall County property taxpayers discuss impact of rising valuations

The Grand Island Independent and NTV both reported on Tuesday’s meeting of the Hall County Commissioners, where taxpayers and community advocates expressed their concerns with proposed increases in local property assessments. Property valuations are conducted by county assessors. Their assessments are then multiplied by property tax rates, often called levies, set by locally elected boards...

By Adam Weinberg

Sales tax receipts hit harder in most populated Nebraska counties

Sales tax receipts hit harder in most populated Nebraska counties

Despite COVID-19, Nebraska saw an increase in taxable sales revenue for March of 2020. However, urban areas in Nebraska appear to have taken a heavy hit as buyers react to COVID-19 restrictions.  Nebraska’s sales tax usually operates as one of the more stable sources of state revenue. That fact is significant when social distancing policy...

By Jaliya Nagahawatte

Academics agree: occupational licensing reform is important

Academics agree: occupational licensing reform is important

During the last weekend in May, I had the opportunity to participate in an academic conference focused on occupational regulations. The conference, co-hosted by the Knee Center for the Study of Occupational Regulation at St. Francis University and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Business, was a tremendous opportunity for scholars to show numerous streams...

By Laura Ebke

Platte Institute discusses transparency for federal funds on KGFW’s Talk of the Town

Platte Institute discusses transparency for federal funds on KGFW’s Talk of the Town

Platte Institute CEO Jim Vokal joined Ryan Boyd with KFGW Kearney’s “Talk of the Town” to discuss the Platte Institute’s call for creating an inventory of the $10.8 billion in federal funds allocated to Nebraska for COVID-19 relief and the road to recovery in the current recession.

Letter to governor calls for a federal funds inventory

Letter to governor calls for a federal funds inventory

Dear Governor Ricketts, We write this letter on behalf of the Platte Institute to ask your administration to set an important precedent for financial transparency in state and local government, by creating a publicly-accessible inventory of federal funds being spent in Nebraska. As you have noted, COVID-19 emergency federal relief funds allocated to Nebraska total...

By Jim Vokal, Nicole Fox

Nebraska Unemployment Among Lowest, But Still Worst in State History

Nebraska Unemployment Among Lowest, But Still Worst in State History

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its state unemployment data for the month of April.  Nebraska had an unemployment rate of only 4% in the month of March, yet with the full effects of the pandemic in motion during April we saw a 4.3% increase in unemployment for a monthly amount of 8.3%, or 86,300 people. ...

By Sarah Curry

Economic Freedom Lawsuits Filed in Lincoln Court

Economic Freedom Lawsuits Filed in Lincoln Court

The public interest law firm the Institute for Justice (IJ) has filed two lawsuits in Lancaster County court related to policies recently debated in the Nebraska Legislature. While the Platte Institute is not party to either lawsuit, they clearly intersect with our work, since both challenge the constitutionality of state and local economic policies we’ve...

By Adam Weinberg

Platte Serves as Resource to Academic Journal

Platte Serves as Resource to Academic Journal

If you follow the Platte Institute you know we publish papers on public policy issues in Nebraska.  But what you probably didn’t know is that sometimes this data is used in academic research and trade publications. In 2018, Nicole Fox and I published a report that reviewed the proposed reforms to occupational licenses enacted in Nebraska.  While...

By Sarah Curry

Webinar: Post-Pandemic Licensing & Regulatory Reform

Webinar: Post-Pandemic Licensing & Regulatory Reform

Click here to download Dr. Ed Timmons’ slides. Click here to download Dr. Matt Mitchell’s slides. The program may also be viewed and shared on Facebook and YouTube.

Legislature Expected to Return to Session July 20

Legislature Expected to Return to Session July 20

The Nebraska Legislature is currently scheduled for a summertime return to its 2020 session, which was suspended due to the COVID-19 emergency. Nebraska Legislature Speaker Jim Scheer says the plan is for senators to return for the final 17 days of legislative business between July 20 and August 13. Prior to the crisis, lawmakers had completed hearings...

By Adam Weinberg

Utah Group Supports Rep. Don Bacon’s FLEX Act

Utah Group Supports Rep. Don Bacon’s FLEX Act

The Platte Institute along with almost 30 other free market think tanks are asking Congress to modify the CARES Act to allow for more flexibility in already distributed funds instead of spending more money.  Now, Platte’s partner organization in Utah has called on their delegation to support Representative Bacon’s FLEX Act. This press release partners...

By Sarah Curry