These Nebraskans Support Occupational Licensing Reform

These Nebraskans Support Occupational Licensing Reform

NEWS RELEASE from the Platte Institute 

Contact: Adam Weinberg
(402) 452-3737

TODAY: LB343 & Occupational Licensing Reform
How Are Nebraskans Harmed by Bureaucratic Red Tape?

Each of these Nebraskans have contributed to previous legislative testimony for occupational licensing reform bills, or are expected to testify today, in support of LB343’s occupational licensing reforms. LB343 will be heard TODAY (Wednesday, March 1) at 9:15 a.m. in State Capitol room 1510. More details and quotes from these stories may be found at

Ilona Holland – Ilona earned her license to practice massage therapy at a community college in Maryland, taking 600 classroom hours of training. When her family moved to Omaha to be closer to relatives, she was shocked to learn she wouldn’t be able to open her business unless she went back to school for yet another 400 hours of training. Nebraska is one of only two states in the country that requires 1,000 classroom hours for massage therapy licensing. Instead, Ilona opened her business in Council Bluffs, Iowa, which accepted her credentials right away. Ilona has hired an assistant in Iowa, and pays and collects taxes there. If the requirements in LB343 had been law, Ilona would have been able to start her small business in Nebraska instead.

Luke French – Luke is a very industrious small business owner. He also drives a school bus for Malcolm Public Schools. Like all school bus drivers, Luke has earned a Commercial Driver License (CDL) and had his qualifications verified by the Department of Education. But Nebraska is one of just two states in the country that also makes school bus drivers like Luke spend even more time and money at the DMV earning an additional school bus driver permit. Most states no longer do this, since the federal government introduced the CDL years ago.

Stacy Shuman – Stacy brought her cosmetology license and great career experience from some of Chicago’s most high-end salons. But when she relocated to Lincoln, she learned that her career experience still wasn’t enough to escape Nebraska’s red tape. Illinois, like most states, requires 1,500 hours for cosmetology licensing, while Nebraska is one of a handful of states that requires 2,100 – the most hours in the country. Stacy had to spend three months out of the workforce and about $1,800 on unneeded training just for the right to do the job she was already doing in Chicago. LB343 would have saved Stacy time and money, and allowed her to get to work right away.


Connie Young – Connie opened a home-based reflexology business 12 years ago in Omaha. After teaching a class on reflexology at a local massage school, Connie received a cease-and-desist letter from the Department of Health and Human Services. In most states, practicing reflexology does not require a license. But in Nebraska, reflexologists must be licensed as massage therapists, even though only 2 percent of the training involves the reflexology technique. Connie couldn’t afford to spend so much time and money out of work. She moved her business across the river to Iowa, but faced financial difficulty when few of her customers could follow. Connie sold her home in Omaha and moved her business to her native state of Indiana instead, which does not have a licensing requirement for reflexologists.

For more information about occupational licensing reform, visit To arrange an interview, please contact Adam Weinberg at (402) 452-3737 or at

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

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