Governor Ricketts announces 8 bills combating occupational licenses

Posted by: Abigail Wood

Did you know that in Nebraska you have to have a license to ship potatoes? Governor Pete Ricketts announced Tuesday that he’s introducing eight bills this legislative session that will try to cut down on unnecessary licenses like this.

"We’re looking at occupational licenses where Nebraska has requirements that are out of step with what other states do or are overly onerous," Ricketts said.

Ilona Holland, a massage therapist who owns her own business, was directly affected by Nebraska’s harsher licensing laws. She has more than 20 years of experience and a prestigious education from Maryland with 600 hours of hands-on work. It’s enough to license her in almost any state in the nation, but when she moved to Omaha a few years ago, they told her she still required another 400 hours of redundant study.

"I said I just can’t financially do it," Holland explained. "We just couldn’t at that point, having invested the money in Maryland, and previously."

Instead, she was forced to set up shop over the border in Council Bluffs. She says she understands the need to be educated and have experience, but says the extra hours are over the top.
"You’re coming here, you are educated, you’re vetted, all those things remain in place, but the hours are just a certain thing that don’t make a lot of sense to me," she said.

Some other examples of what the new bills would trim down: licenses for car salesman, nail artists, and school bus drivers who already have necessary permits.