The Platte Institute is being recognized for its work in building Nebraska’s coalition for occupational licensing reform, which removes barriers for entrepreneurs and self-employed Nebraskans looking to start new careers. In a recent editorial, the Omaha World-Herald newspaper credited the Platte Institute for pushing the reforms.
"There's a striking consensus across the philosophical spectrum about the need for reform of business licensing. In Nebraska, the conservative Platte Institute is emphasizing the issue heading toward the 2017 legislative session," writes the World-Herald Editorial Board.
Last session, the Platte Institute successfully supported removing licensing restrictions on natural hair braiding in Nebraska. Previously, state law mandated braiders to become licensed cosmetologists, requiring 2,100 credit hours of unrelated training that could cost up to $20,000.
Thanks to that reform, Nebraska has gone from being one of the worst states for becoming a natural hair braider, to one of the best.
The Institute will continue to expand the reform effort to other occupations by calling for the least burdensome approach in regulation, particularly when licensing requirements exceed most other states. In its editorial, the World-Herald noted the need to create more consistency in requirements between states.
Massage therapists, for example, must receive 1,000 hours of training in Nebraska, while neighboring Iowa requires only 500, and half of Nebraska’s bordering states do not require a state license at all.
These additional costs placed on entrepreneurs reistrict choices and cause higher prices for consumers. One study by the Heritage Foundation found a lack of occupational licensing reform is imposing a hidden tax of $942 a year on Nebraska households.
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