WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced Jan. 18 that its staff has submitted written comments on proposed legislation in Nebraska that would initiate a comprehensive review of the state’s licensing regulations and laws.

Nebraska LB299 would institute a review of how the state’s licensing laws affect competition in the state. According to proponents of the bill, the legislation would introduce pro-competitive reform of restrictions on regulated occupations.

The FTC’s comments support the goals of LB299, but also caution that the bill's implementation could pose challenges. The FTC says the bill could be misused by self-interested regulatory boards and these boards could attempt to use the language of the legislation to defend, rather than reduce, anti-competitive regulation.

“Implementation of the bill may pose certain challenges, and . . . highlight concerns about any potential expansion of antitrust immunity for licensing boards controlled by active market participants,” FTC staff wrote in the comment.

The FTC voted 2-0 to approve the issuance of staff comments. The comments were sent to Nebraska State Senator Laura Ebke on Jan. 17.

Daniel J. Gilman of the FTC’s Office of Policy Planning is the staff contact for the case.

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