News Release: Nursing, Audiology Licensing Reforms Approved Unanimously

NEWS RELEASE from the Platte Institute 

Contact: Adam Weinberg
(402) 452-3737
aweinberg@platteinstitute.org

More Job Licensing Reform Passes Unanimously with Emergency Clause
FTC Recommendations Show Legislature Must Continue to Make Progress

LINCOLN, NE
(April 24, 2017) – An occupational licensing reform bill, LB88e, has been approved by a 49-0 vote in the Nebraska Legislature. As a bill including an emergency clause, the reforms contained in the legislation would take effect immediately upon being signed into law by Governor Ricketts.

LB88e began as a bill authorizing access to temporary licensure for military spouses, who frequently relocate to other states with existing professional licenses that may have been earned under different requirements. Through amendments, the language of LB342, which streamlines nursing licensure for military spouses, and a small portion of LB343 related to audiologists, were added to the bill.

Currently, licensed audiologists are required to obtain an additional license to be permitted to dispense hearing aids. LB88e would remove that requirement, aligning Nebraska’s licensing rules with most other states.

The unanimous passage of the bill comes after the Federal Trade Commission issued a letter to Nebraska State Senators last month encouraging lawmakers to identify and remove “state-created barriers” licensing laws may impose on economic mobility and job creation in the state. The FTC was the plaintiff in a 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision that found state licensing boards, which are often made up of current industry practitioners, are not immune from antitrust laws if state policymakers are not actively supervising their activities.  

“Removing barriers to economic opportunity should always be treated as an emergency, and with its unanimous vote, the Nebraska Legislature is once again showing that occupational licensing reform can be an area of nonpartisan agreement for all Nebraskans,” said Jim Vokal, Chief Executive Officer of the Platte Institute.

“There’s still a lot of work to do reviewing and reining in Nebraska’s many professional licensing requirements. Nearly 200 occupations in Nebraska still require a government license, with some placing the country’s most costly and time-consuming requirements on Nebraska’s workforce. As the FTC recommended in its recent letter to the Legislature, policymakers need a better framework to help them apply the least-restrictive approaches to regulation that also protect public health and safety,” said Vokal.

To arrange an interview on this topic, please contact Adam Weinberg at (402) 452-3737 or at aweinberg@platteinstitute.org and learn more about occupational licensing reform at PlatteInstitute.org/Jobs

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

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