News Release: LB299 Returns to Legislative Agenda
NEWS RELEASE from the Platte Institute
Contact: Adam Weinberg
Job Licensing Review Bill Returns to Legislative Agenda
Amendment Offered in Search of Vote to Break Filibuster
LINCOLN, NE – A bill to review Nebraska’s job licensing laws and to provide workers with conviction histories an assessment of their eligibility for job licensing will return to the floor of the Nebraska Legislature this week, after it faced opposition last month from senators who attempted to exempt most professions from the review process outlined in the bill.
While that amendment failed, state Sen. Laura Ebke, the bill’s introducer, plans to file a new amendment to address concerns brought by licensing boards and others who would be charged with implementing the LB299 process. To overcome a filibuster in the Nebraska Legislature, 33 of the 49 senators must vote to cease debate on the amendments and the bill.
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, which may include private certification, registration, insurance or bonding requirements, inspections, open market competition, or a combination of these approaches.
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 percent of voters support the licensing review policy behind LB299, including 67 percent of Republicans, 64 percent of Democrats, and 60 percent 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 may be reached at (402) 319-7136 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. To schedule an interview with Platte Institute staff in Omaha, please contact Adam Weinberg at (402) 452-3737 or email@example.com.
The Platte Institute advances policies that remove barriers to growth and opportunity in Nebraska. Learn more at PlatteInstitute.org.