Occupational board reform act reports submitted as scheduled
December 15 was the statutory deadline for committee submission of final reports of reviews in compliance with the Occupational Board Reform Act (LB299, 2018). Although two committee reports have yet to be uploaded on the Legislature’s website, it appears that the change in the scheduling of the legislative session (as a result of COVID) and work schedules did not result in a failure to get things done.
In point of fact, it appears that the Health and Human Services Committee—which was short-staffed and overloaded in 2019 and got none of their reviews done in the first year—was able to dig in and complete all (or at least most) of the reviews under their jurisdiction done this year, rather than spreading them out over five years as called for in the statute. We want to provide a special “shout out” to Chair Sara Howard and her committee staff for not just keeping their promise to get caught up, but exceeding all expectations!
The typical process (so far) for these reviews has been one where the committees determine which occupational licenses they’ll look at during the interim period, and then they send out a survey (which was developed after LB299 was passed in 2018) which can then be submitted electronically to the committees. Those surveys are available at the link above, as well, so that anyone interested can see the full results.
Committee research analysts or legal counsel typically compile the results for their committee and write a report, which then (if approved) becomes the committee report.
This past year, a few of the committees submitted interim study resolutions in advance of their reviews. While this was not required by the statute, it is something that we hope more of the committees will do in the future. It provides another layer of transparency to the reviews—giving public notice for which occupations will be looked at during the cycle. This is especially important if we are serious about taking a critical look at our occupational licensing needs and getting public input on licensing.
We’ll be working our way through all of the reports over the next few weeks, and will make note of things that stand out. The goal of doing the reports is not merely to DO the reviews, but for those reviews to provide food for thought about potential changes to the occupational licensing structure in our state.