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Gov. Ricketts Signs Animal Massage Occupational Licensing Reform Bill

Media Contacts:  

Luke Robson, 402-471-1967





Gov. Ricketts and State Senator Mike Groene with advocates for LB 596.


LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts hosted a ceremonial signing event for LB 596, which exempts equine, cat, and dog massage practices from licensure and regulation, into law.  LB 596 was introduced by State Senator Mike Groene of North Platte.  The Legislature voted 46-0-3 to advance the bill to the Governor’s desk.


“Our continued commitment to occupational licensing reform is creating more opportunities for Nebraskans across the state,” said Governor Ricketts.  “This bill builds on the work the Legislature and I have done to break down unnecessary barriers over the past two years.  Thank you to Senator Groene for his leadership in shepherding this proposal through the legislative process.”


LB 596 will remove licensing restrictions for Nebraskans who wish to engage in equine, cat, or dog massage practice, which were previously restricted by the Veterinary Medicine and Surgery Practice Act. 


"With Governor Ricketts’ leadership, we are chipping away at the obstacles presented by over-regulation and licensure by the state,” said Senator Mike Groene.  “Together we are helping hardworking Nebraskans follow their dreams of creating small businesses and a living for their families.  I appreciate his support of LB 596."




Over the past two years, Governor Ricketts has worked with State Senators and agencies to deliver numerous occupational licensing reforms.  Reforms delivered over the past two years include:


  • LB88e, introduced by Senator Carol Blood of Bellevue, broke down barriers for military spouses with occupational licenses.  The bill authorized the Department of Health and Human Services, with the recommendation of the appropriate board, to issue temporary licenses for occupations regulated under the Uniform Credentialing Act to military spouses.  The bill also incorporated elements of LB 343 by Senator Merv Riepe of Ralston, which eliminated the requirement for audiologists to obtain an additional license in order to sell hearing equipment.
  • LB341, introduced by Senator Brett Lindstrom of Omaha, was the first bill from the Governor’s occupational licensing reform bills passed by the Legislature in 2017.  This reform allowed banks to opt out of licensing their executive officers.
  • LB342, introduced by Senator Steve Erdman of Bayard, provided reciprocity for military spouses all over the country by updating language for adoption of the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact, which allows nurses to have one multi-state license.
  • LB 345, from Senator John Murante of Gretna, eliminated a requirement of one year of land title-related experience for issuance of a certificate of registration or a temporary certificate of registration for Nebraska abstracters.  Before this bill was signed by Governor Ricketts, Nebraska was one of only six states to license abstracters, and the only state with this experience requirement.
  • LB 346, by Senator John Lowe of Kearney, eliminated licenses for motor vehicle salespersons.  The bill also eliminated the $20 licensing fee that served as a tax on employment in the industry
  • LB347, introduced by Senator Suzanne Geist of Lincoln, eliminated certain fees involved in acquiring school bus permits as well as eliminating examinations by the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and various other requirements for obtaining this permit. 
  • LB454, introduced by Senator Lindstrom, is another occupational licensing reform which allowed credit unions to opt out of licensing their loan officers.

Gov. Ricketts Signs Animal Massage Occupational Licensing Reform Bill