Virtual News Conference: Job licensing law short-circuits Navy veteran’s career goals

Virtual News Conference: Job licensing law short-circuits Navy veteran’s career goals

VIRTUAL NEWS CONFERENCE with the Platte Institute

Contact: Adam Weinberg
(402) 500-0209

TODAY: Job licensing law short-circuits Navy veteran’s career goals
An update on universal recognition of licensing with Sen. Tom Briese

Mike Beyer 1
Mike Beyer 2

OMAHA, NE — From 2010 to 2018, Bridgeport native Mike Beyer served as a Construction Electrician in the Navy, including assignments at Camp David and U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command. On his deployments to Iraq, Mike supported SEAL Teams 3 and 7 as a lead electrician during their mission to defeat ISIS.

Beyer is one of many Nebraska veterans who learned his trade in the service, completing an 8,000-hour military apprenticeship endorsed by the U.S. Department of Labor. But after returning to the Panhandle to start a civilian electrician career, he learned Nebraska’s job licensing laws gave no hero’s welcome. State law says his military training and certification only counts for one of the four years needed to apply for his journeyman electrician’s license.

Mike Beyer will be the special guest on a Platte Institute Virtual News Conference, TODAY, March 2, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. Central Time/9:30 a.m. Mountain Time. The program will be held on Zoom with registration available at this link.

Photos of Beyer are attached. The virtual news conference may be recorded, rebroadcast, or republished in whole or in part with attribution. Q&A will be available through the Zoom Q&A feature. Video and audio recordings of the virtual news conference will be available in a forthcoming release.

Beyer will be hosted by Platte Institute Senior Fellow Laura Ebke and joined by Nebraska state Sen. Tom Briese. Briese is the sponsor of Legislative Bill 263, which would provide universal recognition of licensing, work experience, and certifications earned in other states and the U.S. military.

Under universal recognition, variations in initial state licensing rules would not prevent workers with out-of-state experience from receiving licensure in Nebraska, as long as their work history met certain requirements.

The Nebraska Legislature’s Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee held a hearing on LB263 on February 3, but so far, the measure has not received a committee vote to be advanced to the full Unicameral.

Passage of the bill would mean Beyer’s certification and work experience could earn him a license, pending passage of the state electrical exam.

“Getting my license would mean being able to get a raise for the work I’m doing, and be able to use more of the electrical skills I learned in the Navy,” Beyer said.

With more of Nebraska’s neighbors, including Iowa, Missouri, and South Dakota adopting laws for universal recognition of occupational licensing and work experience, Laura Ebke says the Nebraska Legislature needs to catch up if it wants to retain and attract workers like Mike Beyer.

“Mike gave eight years of honorable and decorated service to our country, and he did everything Nebraskans could hope to see a young person from a rural area do. He came back to his hometown to start a family and a career,” Ebke said.

“But even though Mike did everything that could be reasonably asked of him, Nebraska’s job licensing laws stood in the way of the career the military trained him for,” Ebke said.

Here are additional facts about Legislative Bill 263:

  • Professionals who qualify to apply for licensure under LB263’s universal recognition include workers who have held an out-of-state license for one year in good standing and were required to pass an examination or complete education, training, or experience requirements to obtain that license, veterans and service members who received a military occupational specialty during their service, or workers who come from states that do not license their occupation, provided they have at least three years of experience in their field under a similar scope of practice as the licensed profession.
  • Universal recognition has a history of bipartisan success. Across the country, universal recognition laws passed through legislatures with strong—sometimes unanimous–support from Republicans and Democrats alike. Supporters of universal recognition include conservative governors like Iowa’s Kim Reynolds and progressive governors like Pennsylvania’s Tom Wolf. Senior leadership at the Department of Defense, military spouse support organizations, and administrations at the state and federal level, from President Obama to President Trump, have identified onerous licensing hurdles as an element ripe for reform to improve the lives of service members, military spouses, and other professionals.
  • LB263 uses “scope of practice” as the basis for whether out-of-state licensure or work experience should be accepted for licensing in Nebraska. Scope of practice is a term meaning the work functions allowed under a particular license. It offers a more consistent approach to assessing an applicant’s ability to perform the duties of the license than state training or licensure requirements, which can vary significantly across jurisdictions. Applicants for universal recognition could still be required to take a state exam at the discretion of state licensing boards, and would be responsible for paying any required licensing fees.

For more information on this topic, contact Adam Weinberg at (402) 500-0209 or

The Platte Institute advances policies that remove barriers to growth and opportunity in Nebraska. More media resources are available at

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