News Release: Hearing for Universal Recognition of Job Licensing

NEWS RELEASE from the Platte Institute 


Contact: Adam Weinberg
Mobile: (402) 500-0209
aweinberg@platteinstitute.org 

Job Regulation Hearings in Government Committee
Senators to Consider Universal Job Licensing Recognition 


 
LINCOLN, NE – Nebraska state Sen. Andrew La Grone's Legislative Bill 1187 will be heard today in the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee. The bill proposes an addition to Nebraska's job licensing reform law, the Occupational Board Reform Act, to provide Universal Recognition of work experience from licensed and certain qualified professionals from other states.

Platte Institute Senior Fellow for Job Licensing Laura Ebke, the original sponsor of the Occupational Board Reform Act in the Legislature, will testify in support of LB1187. Ebke's testimony is now available online at http://www.PlatteInstitute.org/Testimony. The hearing will be held in Nebraska State Capitol room 1507 and begins at 1:30 p.m. Central Time. 

Under LB1187, licensing applicants would be approved if they hold a license in good standing for at least one year from another state. Workers from states without licensure requirements, or that only require private certification for a profession, would have to demonstrate additional experience. Nebraska licensing boards would still be able to require examination of the applicant, collect fees where allowed under law, and maintain other requirements for the practice of the licensed profession.  

The legislation does not apply to professions in which Nebraska currently participates in an interstate licensing compact. 

"Universal recognition is designed to keep people from having to start over with new education or training when they have a record of qualifications in another state—it does not prohibit the state from having non-credential related requirements," such as insurance or bonding requirements, said Ebke. 

Presently, Universal Recognition for job licensing has been adopted in Arizona and Pennsylvania. At least 15 state legislatures, including Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri, are considering similar legislation this year.  

Senators on the committee will also hear Sen. Megan Hunt's Legislative Bill 1068. Ebke will provide supporting testimony.

LB1068 is an example of an occupational regulation bill that adheres to the Occupational Board Reform Act. In addition to reviewing job licensing laws, the act calls for the state to regulate occupations with the least restrictive means needed to protect public health and safety. This is to prevent regulations from creating unnecessary barriers to workforce entry and marketplace competition. 

The bill creates a voluntary registry for Interior Designers who wish to stamp or sign their design plans to be recognized by local building inspectors. Registered Interior Designers would have to pass an exam, hold professional liability insurance, and complete continuing education requirements in order to maintain this additional practice option. 

In a recent Omaha World-Herald editorial, LB1068 was cited as a positive example of industries keeping the state's new job licensing law in mind when requesting regulatory changes.

"We thank the Interior Designers for reaching out to us last year to explore ways of achieving their goals...LB1068, as introduced, satisfies both the goals of the Interior Designers, and the desire that many of us have to limit unnecessary regulation," said Ebke.

"Not all Interior Designers will choose to become registered, and this bill does not exclude those from using the term 'Interior Designer'—it merely prevents the use of 'Registered' and will not allow them to stamp or sign their plans independently," said Ebke. 

LB1187 is currently the third bill on today's Government Committee agenda, and LB1068 is the fourth and final bill.

To schedule an interview on this topic please contact Adam Weinberg at (402) 500-0209 or aweinberg@platteinstitute.org

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

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