Nebraska has cut red tape for these careers and businesses

Nebraska has cut red tape for these careers and businesses

Nebraska’s 2020 legislative session ended on August 13. In looking through the multiple occupational licensing reform bills that were signed into law just this year, Laura Ebke and I couldn’t help but notice how great of an impact the Platte Institute’s campaign for job licensing reform has had since we first supported a bill eliminating the licensing requirement for natural hair braiders which passed in March of 2016.

Since the passage of that initial bill, the Platte Institute has worked with senators in every party to advance legislation increasing opportunities in numerous professions. Barriers to entry for the following occupations have been reduced:

  • Abstracters
  • Architects
  • Audiologists
  • Bank officers
  • Barbers
  • Canine, feline, and equine massage practitioners
  • Cosmetologists
  • Emergency medical service providers
  • Engineers
  • Estheticians
  • Landscape architects
  • Motor vehicle salespersons
  • Nurses
  • Physical therapists
  • Plumbers
  • Psychiatrists
  • Public adjusters
  • Realtors
  • Real property appraisers
  • School bus drivers
  • Substance abuse counselors

As Laura Ebke notes, these efforts matter not only to continue the state’s resilient rise from the COVID-19 recession, but to create new and better opportunities than our state had before. Approximately 200 occupations in the state require a license, so we still have a lot of work to do.

With the passage of the Occupational Board Reform Act (OBRA) in 2018, which reviews our existing licenses in an effort to find less-restrictive alternatives, we know that more reforms will be identified in the years to come.

Beyond scrutinizing our current licensing laws, we have more ideas in store about how the Legislature can remove red tape for workers and entrepreneurs. Like OBRA, one approach goes beyond just addressing a single occupation and takes a comprehensive look at how licensing and work experience from other states is recognized in Nebraska.

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