There are nearly 200 occupations in Nebraska that require a license for that job. Platte Institute’s Director of Government Relations Nicole Fox was a state senator when she was approached by a woman who was running a hair braiding business out of her home. She was in violation of state law because she was braiding hair without a license that would have cost her upwards of $20,000. Lawmakers passed a bill in 2016 that made it possible to operate a hair braiding service without first obtaining a cosmetology license.
It is not just cosmetology. Sarah Curry is the Policy Director at the Platte Institute and says Nebraska started the conversation and enacted some meaningful reforms. She says, “In 2016 it was one bill introduced and one bill passed. In 2017, we had 23 bills introduced. Six of them passed. There are several bills in committee that likely will be hitting the floor early in the session and several more on general file. I think that speaks volumes to see such an increase in trying to lessen barriers for Nebraskans.”
The Pacific Research Institute ranks Nebraska the 44th worst state in the nation for requirement of occupational licenses.
Director of Government Relations Nicole Fox is also a former Nebraska State Senator and says one of the occupation licenses that needs to be looked at is the farm labor contractor. Fox says, “Only eight states in the country have that license, Nebraska being one of them but Nebraska also has one of the highest fees for that license out of those states. That is why we need to take a serious look at these licenses, not to look at them and say lets repeal and get rid of them but maybe look at them and say if 45 or 49 other states are doing this and requiring less hours and less fees, is there something we can change to more aligned with other states.”
Other professions the Platte Institute wants the Unicameral to address in the coming session include massage therapy, farm labor contractor, esthetician, audiologist, vehicle salesperson, nail technician and more.