LINCOLN — Outgoing State Sen. Laura Ebke of Crete will continue working on occupational licensing issues next year as a staff member at the Platte Institute.

Ebke, who was defeated in her bid for re-election, will take a new position as the institute’s senior fellow for job licensing reform in January.

During the 2017 legislative session, she introduced legislation to require regular reviews of Nebraska’s almost 200 occupational and professional licenses.

Legislative Bill 299 passed this year, and the review process is set to begin in July 2019.

The aim of the process is to identify when less restrictive regulations, such as certification, registration or inspection, can address consumer and worker protection concerns without resorting to state licensing.

Ebke said the bill has drawn attention from other states.

But she cautioned that the model is only as good as its implementation.

As Nebraska carries out the new law, the institute’s job licensing project will report on developments in Nebraska and share the outcomes with policymakers in other states.

The Platte Institute is an Omaha-based free market think tank, whose founders include Gov. Pete Ricketts. The governor backed one of Ebke’s opponents this year after she switched parties from Republican to Libertarian.

Martha Stoddard keeps legislators honest from The World-Herald's Lincoln bureau, where she covers news from the State Capitol. Follow her on Twitter @StoddardOWH. Phone: 402-473-9583.

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