News Release: Platte Institute Nominated for International Award

News Release: Platte Institute Nominated for International Award

NEWS RELEASE from the Platte Institute 


Contact: Adam Weinberg
(402) 452-3737

Platte Institute Named Finalist for Templeton Freedom Award
Nomination Recognizes Efforts for Job Licensing Reform


OMAHA, NE – The Platte Institute has been named as one of six finalists for the Atlas Network’s 2019 Templeton Freedom Award.

The Atlas Network is a global network of free market policy organizations.

Think tanks from all over the world are considered for the Templeton Freedom Award, which is named after the late investor and philanthropist Sir John Templeton. The award recognizes "the most exceptional and innovative contributions to the understanding of free enterprise, and the public policies that encourage prosperity, innovation and human fulfillment via free competition." 

The Platte Institute has been nominated in recognition of its campaign for job licensing reform in Nebraska.

The Platte Institute began its involvement with job licensing in 2016 when it supported legislation to end the state’s cosmetology licensing requirement for natural hair braiders. In 2017, additional licensing reforms of individual occupations were adopted, while in 2018, the Nebraska Legislature passed the Occupational Board Reform Act, a comprehensive review process for all state licensing laws.

The review legislation was called a model for licensing reform by the Wall Street Journal editorial board.

In 2019, reform efforts continued with additional reductions in licensing barriers for individual professions. Senators also adopted legislation waiving first-time licensing fees for low-income workers, military family members, and younger workers in fields regulated by the Department of Health and Human Services, which is the largest category of licensed professions in Nebraska.   

“Being nominated for the Templeton Freedom Award is a great honor for the Platte Institute team, but it would not have been possible without the hard work of so many Nebraskans who put their differences aside to advance the right to make an honest living,” said Jim Vokal, Chief Executive Officer of the Platte Institute.

“Nebraskans should be proud that their state is being recognized as a leader in the movement to reform excessive occupational licensing laws,” said Vokal.  

The Templeton Freedom Award will be presented on November 7 at the Atlas Network’s Freedom Dinner in New York City.

The five other finalists are:

To schedule an interview about this announcement, please contact Adam Weinberg at (402) 452-3737 or

The Platte Institute advances policies that remove barriers to growth and opportunity in Nebraska. For more media resources, please visit   

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