Lincoln, NE – Foundation for Government Accountability Senior Research Fellow Jared Meyer testified before the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee today in support of bills that would ease occupational licensing requirements for seven personal service occupations, including barbering, massage therapy, and cosmetology, among others.
Meyer voiced FGA’s support of the committee’s efforts to identify areas where Nebraska’s occupational licensing requirements are out-of-line with other states’ requirements or unnecessarily onerous. The hearings follow Nebraska’s progress on licensing reform, which began in 2016 when the state eased regulations for African hair braiders. Since then, the state has signed five bills that streamlined, relaxed, or eliminated existing occupational licensing requirements for Nebraskans.
Meyer’s comments addressed research that shows that occupational licensing disproportionately harms low-income individuals, military families, and young workers—and that the effects of these regulations limit opportunity and prevent people from climbing the economic ladder.
“Over the past few years, Nebraska has made meaningful progress on licensing reform. But there is still work to be done to remove barriers to work and promote opportunity within the state,” said Meyer. “As studies and best-practice experience in other states have shown, further easing occupational licensing requirements for low-income personal service occupations will promote job growth and economic opportunity—while still protecting public safety.”
The Foundation for Government Accountability is a non–profit, multi–state think tank that specializes in health care, welfare, and regulatory reform. To learn more, visit TheFGA.org.