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What A Wonderful Idea (See What An Elected Libertarian Can Do?): Occupational Licensing and Registration Reform

In Nebraska, the only state in the Union with a unicameral (and officially non-partisan) legislature, there is a former GOP state legislator (the members of the unicameral legislature are called senators and that is what I will title her hitherto) named Senator Laura Ebke.  Ebke actually comes from a political family – her father was a mayor and her mother was on the School Board of the same town (Fairbury NE) and her grandfather was also mayor of Fairbury and she got to run for the very seat her father was defeated trying for – senate district 32.  Here is her campaign website.

Well, Senator Ebke did something I admire:  She “switched” parties – from Republican to Libertarian.  Now normally I think if you do that during your term, you should resign and then run in the special election for the new party – but all the senators in Nebraska are elected in a non-partisan manner.  First an open jungle primary and a general election where the top two vie for election.  That is how Senator Ebke won in 2014 (she is up again in 2018 and if she wins, term limits bar her from running again!).  So I will absolve her from the Sanders rule (actually it is the Phil Gramm rule when he switched from Dem to GOP as a member of Congress many years ago.  Gramm quit, ran as a Republican and won the special election!)

Well, this Libertarian state legislator got this bill passed (I cite the WSJ article but it does have a paywall; Senator Ebke has it on her FB page, too) and it awaits the Governor’s signature.  Here is a description of it from Institute for Justice:

Sponsored by Sen. Laura Ebke, the bill (LB 299) would establish a review process that would use a two-step process to review existing regulations. First, there actually have to be “present, significant, and substantiated harms” that warrant government intervention. Second, if such a problem exists, the regulation must be the “least restrictive” form that imposes the lowest burdens and costs while still protecting consumers from harm.

As part of the bill’s rigorous “sunset review” process, every year, legislative standing committees would examine one-fifth of the state’s occupational regulations to identify any rules or laws that should be repealed or modified so that they are the least restrictive.

WOW!  I sure hope Governor Ricketts signs.  (BTW, it passed 45-1!)

We need this type of reform in the Commonwealth and I am adding it to my “budget of heresies” to quote William Lloyd Garrison that we need to win elections!

It can be that if liberty-minded Republicans and Libertarians can get elected, things CAN happen.  We can have more liberty.  Hats off to Senator Ebke.  In my next blog post, I will endorse her and encourage people to help her.  Which is a heresy that could get me in trouble…

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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