News Release: LB596 Passes First-Round Vote, 38-0

News Release: LB596 Passes First-Round Vote, 38-0

NEWS RELEASE from the Platte Institute 


Contact: Adam Weinberg
(402) 452-3737

LB596 Passes First-Round Vote, 38-0

LINCOLN, NE – The Nebraska Legislature has advanced Sen. Mike Groene’s Legislative Bill 596 from General File debate by a vote of 38-0.

The bill would eliminate the current job licensing requirement for equine massage practitioners—professionals who provide massage services for horses and similar animals—and replace it with a less-restrictive requirement to receive a training certificate and register with the state.

Some senators withheld their support for an amendment to create the registry, arguing it would be better to simply leave the state out of regulating equine massage altogether, which the original version of the bill proposed.  

The bill will need to be advanced twice more by the Legislature to be sent to the governor.

Dawn Hatcher, an aspiring equine massage practitioner from Columbus, Nebraska, had this statement upon the bill’s initial passage:

"The passing of LB596 helps open a door for rural Nebraskans to start their own small businesses. It also gives horse owners a broader choice in care for their horses. For me personally, it allows me to pursue a dream of working in the equine field. The opportunity to combine my love of horses with my own business has me very excited for the future,” said Hatcher.

Platte Institute Government Relations Director Nicole Fox provided written testimony in support of LB596 in a 2017 committee hearing.

“LB596 is yet another opportunity for Nebraska to create a new avenue for entrepreneurship, particularly for women and in Nebraska’s rural communities,” said Fox.

Ms. Hatcher and Platte Institute staff are available for comment on this topic. To schedule an interview, please contact Adam Weinberg at (402) 452-3737 or

The Platte Institute advances policies that remove barriers to growth and opportunity in Nebraska. Learn more at

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