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Sen. Laura Ebke to Receive Award Award Recognizes Efforts to Advance Economic Freedom

LINCOLN, NE – The Platte Institute is pleased to announce that State Sen. Laura Ebke, of Nebraska Legislative District 32, is the winner of the 2018 Connie Brown Freedom Award. The award will be presented to Sen. Ebke at the Platte Institute Legislative Summit at Embassy Suites in Lincoln (1040 P Street, 68508 Regents Ballroom B) on Thursday, September 13 at approximately 8:30 a.m. Central Time. 

The presentation will also be streamed online at An official Nebraska Legislature photo of Sen. Ebke is attached.

“Our team is proud to present the 2018 Connie Brown Freedom Award to Sen. Ebke for her dedication to job licensing reform in Nebraska. The senator successfully championed passage of Legislative Bill 299 throughout the 105th Nebraska Legislature, navigating a difficult two years of committee and floor opposition,” said Jim Vokal, Chief Executive Officer of the Platte Institute. 

“Sen. Ebke worked tirelessly with her colleagues in every party, and no party, to build consensus and secure passage of LB299, despite numerous challenges from industry and government groups that threatened the bill’s progress,” said Vokal. 

The new law, also known as the Occupational Board Reform Act, requires a legislative review of Nebraska’s job licensing laws every five years, and also provides Nebraskans with conviction histories the ability to petition state licensing boards for verification of their eligibility for licensing prior to beginning a related training program.

The review process will determine whether less restrictive regulatory alternatives to current licensing may be possible, including inspection, certification, registration, insurance or bonding requirements, or market competition. By passing LB299, Nebraska has become one of the first states in the country to adopt a law requiring the review of state job licensing. The legislation was called “a model for licensing reform” by the Wall Street Journal editorial board, and more states continue to adopt and consider similar legislation.

The Connie Brown Freedom Award is an annual award presented by the Platte Institute’s staff. The award was created in 2015 following the untimely passing of Platte Institute volunteer Connie Brown. More information is available at

Award winners are Nebraskans who have taken action to remove barriers to growth and opportunity in Nebraska and whose stories can inspire others to advance economic freedom. The Platte Institute staff welcomes nominations for the award.

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