News Release: LB299 on Today’s Legislative Agenda
NEWS RELEASE from the Platte Institute
Contact: Adam Weinberg
LB299 First on Today’s Legislative Agenda
Bill with Broad Nonpartisan Support Reviews Job Licensing
LINCOLN, NE – A bill to review Nebraska’s job licensing laws and remove some obstacles to licensing for workers with certain conviction histories is on today’s agenda in the Nebraska Legislature. Sen. Laura Ebke’s Legislative Bill 299 currently appears first on Tuesday’s schedule in the Unicameral. The Nebraska Legislature begins session at 9 a.m. Central Time today.
An info sheet about LB299 is attached to this release.
LB299 has received support from advocacy groups with a wide variety of views, including the Platte Institute, the Institute for Justice, the ACLU of Nebraska, and Nebraska Appleseed.
The bill requires the Legislature to regularly review occupational licensing laws for less restrictive alternatives over a five-year cycle, along with scrutinizing proposals for new occupational licensing. LB299 also narrows the circumstances under which workers with a criminal record can be barred from obtaining licensure by a state board. Currently, applicants with a variety of charges can be denied licensure. To be denied licensure under the new proposal, an applicant would have to be convicted of a felony that state boards can demonstrate is substantially related to the job functions being licensed.
The bill has earned tripartisan support in the Legislature, with Ebke, a registered Libertarian, Sens. John McCollister, Tom Brewer, Dan Watermeier, Mark Kolterman, John Stinner, and Brett Lindstrom, Tom Briese, and John Lowe representing Republican cosponsors, and Democratic Sen. Justin Wayne also cosponsoring the legislation.
New polls taken across eight Nebraska legislative districts also show that 62% of voters support the licensing review policy behind LB299, including 67% of Republicans, 64% of Democrats, and 60% of Independents.
“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.
Platte Institute staff members are available for comment on this story. Platte Institute Director of Government Relations Nicole Fox will be in the State Capitol today and may be reached at (402) 319-7136 or at email@example.com. To schedule an interview with Platte Institute staff in Omaha, please contact Adam Weinberg at (402) 452-3737 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Platte Institute advances policies that remove barriers to growth and opportunity in Nebraska. Learn more at PlatteInstitute.org.