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Iowans for Tax Relief and the Platte Institute (Nebraska) sent a letter to the governor of each state as well as state legislators in Iowa and Nebraska encouraging the states to adopt each other’s recent professional licensing reform legislation.

Chris Ingstad, president of Iowans for Tax Relief, and Jim Vokal, CEO of Platte Institute, praised recent licensing reform policies pass in each state.

Iowa’s bill, House File 2627, provided universal recognition, which allows licensure and worked experience of workers from other states to be easily approved for joining the workforce in Iowa.

Nebraska’s new law requires state legislative committees to regularly review job licensing requirements to identify less-restrictive regulatory alternatives and maintain reporting from state licensing boards.

“Occupational licensing reform can take on many forms, but review and recognition bills perhaps mark the most significant changes—assuring both accountability for licensing that exists, and that workers have portability for their skills,” Vokal and Ingstad wrote.

“These policies can be especially valuable as more Americans with family members in licensed occupations consider relocation as part of the remote workforce.”

Both Iowa and Nebraska rank among the states with the lowest unemployment rates in America. However, not as many workers are returning to the region’s already tight labor market as before the pandemic because they are waiting for vaccines to become widely distributed.

In their letter to Gov. Kim Reynolds, Gov. Pete Ricketts, and members of their state legislatures, Vokal and Ingstad write that adopting similar policies for easier access and scrutiny of professional licensing will bolster the economic climate on both sides of the state line.

“We encourage you to plan now to help bring more people and more jobs to both of our states; to reduce barriers to employment; to increase transparency and accountability. There is no better time than now to enact these policies which will contribute to our post-COVID economic recovery,” Vokal and Ingstad write.

Author: Jacob Hall