Bill would change licensure requirements for geologists

Senators advanced a bill from general file Jan. 29 that would establish stronger licensure requirements for geologists practicing in the state.

Malcolm Sen. Ken Haar introduced LB91, saying that an increased presence of geologists in the state warrants the changes to current licensure requirements.

“Nebraska has one of the largest uranium mines in the United States,” he said. “As oil and fracking become more common in Nebraska, there will be a greater need for geologists.”

Under the bill, the Nebraska Board of Geologists could:
• deny a license to any applicant deemed to have an issue of moral turpitude, a felony conviction, or suspension or revocation of an existing license;
• grant licensure to any out of state geologist with at least 15 years of relevant experience under a reciprocity agreement;
• require continuing education of all license-holders; and
• admit members to the board from any Nebraska college or university.

Columbus Sen. Paul Schumacher questioned the fairness of the reciprocity provision, saying the 15-year requirement is arbitrary.

“Geologists with 15 years of experience may actually be at a disadvantage,” he said. “They may have even less education on current technology than someone coming right out of college.”

Haar said he included the reciprocity provision because other states have different standards and testing methods for licensure that are not required in Nebraska.

The bill was advanced to select file on a 41-2 vote.

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