Periodic review of occupational licensing laws discussed

The Nebraska Legislature discussed a bill this week that could make it easier for people with a criminal history to obtain a professional license in the state.

As introduced by Sen. Laura Ebke of Crete, LB299 would create a legislative office responsible for reviewing proposed legislation that would enact or modify occupational licensing regulations to ensure that they are the least restrictive means of achieving the regulation’s ends. It also would require ongoing legislative review of occupational regulations and legislation.

Language in LB299 does appear to ease the burden for those with a criminal history, including felonies, to pursue occupational licenses in the state.

Sec. 16. The purposes of the Occupational Board Reform Act are (1) to require occupational boards to respect the fundamental right of an individual to pursue an occupation and (2) to ensure that occupational boards and individual members of occupational boards avoid liability under federal antitrust laws.Sec. 17. (1) The fundamental right of an individual to pursue an occupation includes the right of an individual with a criminal history to obtain an occupational license, a specialty occupational license for medical reimbursement, or government certification or state recognition of the individual’s personal qualifications. (2) An individual with a criminal history may petition the appropriate occupational board at any time, including prior to obtaining required education or paying any fee, for a determination as to whether the individual’s criminal history would disqualify the individual from obtaining an occupational license, a specialty occupational license for medical reimbursement, or government certification or state recognition of the individual’s personal qualifications from that occupational board. 

Read more here.

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