Good afternoon, Chairwoman Howard and members of the Health and Human Services Committee. My name is Nicole Fox, and I am the Director of Government Relations for the Platte Institute. Thank you, Senator Arch, for introducing LB834 and to have the opportunity to discuss occupational licensing burdens in our state. I am here testifying in support of this bill.
LB834 adjusts the state’s Engineers and Architects Regulation Act in a positive direction for less burdensome work requirements. This bill is a great example of the governing board of an occupation taking the initiative to update their laws to reduce entrance barriers for a profession under their jurisdiction for regulation.
LB834 proposes the following improvements to the licensure process:
- It removes provisions that architectural license candidates must wait to take the professional examination until after graduation from an accredited program;
- It updates provisions that professional engineer license candidates must first gain four years of experience before taking the professional exam;
- It allows both architectural and engineering license candidates the ability to take professional examinations without first getting Board approval;
- It allows for degrees from programs accredited by the Canadian Architectural Accreditation Board and Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board to satisfy the education requirements for licensure in Nebraska.
As you may recall, LB299 was passed in 2018 with the goal of conducting periodic reviews of occupations requiring occupational regulation every five years. We need to make sure that requirements for all occupations regulated in this state are allowing individuals to work without undue burden.
I’d like to thank the Nebraska Board of Engineers and Architects for their proactive work in recognizing that their licensure requirements needed to be updated to make entry into Nebraska’s workforce easier.
I ask that you advance LB834 out of committee.