Legislative Testimony for LB64: Change the Licensing of Truth and Deception Examiners Act

Legislative Testimony for LB64: Change the Licensing of Truth and Deception Examiners Act

Chairman Brewer and members of the Government, Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee, my name is Nicole Fox, and I am here today to testify on behalf of the Platte Institute in support of LB64 sponsored by Sen. Groene.

During the 2018 interim, I was invited to join a group of individuals at a meeting sponsored by Sen. Groene’s office to discuss concerns regarding the license that is required for individuals wanting to administer “truth verification exams.”  In most states, truth and deception examiners complete a certification program through the National Institute for Truth Verification.  Recertification is then required every 2 years after completion of the initial certification.

But in Nebraska, in addition to this national certification, an additional 250 hours of classroom instruction with written exams and an 18 month internship with the conduction of 50 truth verification exams during this internship are required.  Of note, the original number of truth verification exams required was 100.  This number was decreased because it was too onerous – some of Nebraska’s law enforcement agencies were not able to find enough individuals willing to volunteer for the exam.  Under current law, if the required number of exams are not completed within the 18 months, you are allowed one extension; but if the required 50 exams are not completed by the end of that time, a potential licensee must start all over again.

Nebraska’s licensing requirements are extremely burdensome.  At the time of the interim meeting, the sole internship supervisor in Nebraska was preparing for retirement.  A representative from the Secretary of State’s office was also at that meeting and related to the group that the Truth and Deception Examiners license is one of the “most vigorous licenses the office administered.”

As this meeting progressed, all I could think was that Nebraska’s law was crafted with good intentions, but unfortunately met with unintended consequences.  The law has already required changes since its inception, but burdens to complete the license’s requirements still exist.  The current law delays the ability to be able to work.  I’m not convinced current requirements benefit the public.  In fact, if it were up to me, I would propose elimination of the license all together since a national certification already exists.  I do understand though, that some in the group did not agree with full repeal.

LB64 proposes several changes to the state’s Truth and Deception Examiner’s License to lessen burdensome requirements.  Two of the most significant changes are the elimination of the 250 classroom hours and the elimination of the internship.  Although full repeal was decided against, this bill is a great example of law enforcement taking the initiative to update a licensing law to reduce barriers for their colleagues.

LB64 is in line with a national effort to reduce overregulation of occupations, efforts supported by both the Obama administration and the Trump administration.   Earlier this week, the DOD undersecretary recently weighed in on a reform proposed in Nebraska.  During the 2017 and 2018 legislative sessions, the FTC weighed in on proposed reforms.

When discussing a variety of policy issues in this legislature, we often ask, “How does Nebraska compare?”  Currently, Nebraska is an outlier when compared with most of the country.  LB 64 would improve this status.

To those in law enforcement who are here today for this hearing, thank you for your service.  Your desire to serve the public and keep us safe is greatly appreciated, and I appreciate Sen. Groene’s efforts to help the truth and deception examiners in your agencies continue to be able to keep the public safe without overly burdensome red tape.

The Platte Institute supports legislation that reduces barriers to entering the workforce.  Sen. Groene’s LB64 is an example of this type of legislation, and I ask that you advance it to General File.

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