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Unicameral Wednesday Update

(Brandon Benson - NSN News)
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Capitol Foyer (Photo courtesy of the Office of the Capitol Commission)

April 7, 2022
(Brandon Benson - NSN News)

Wednesday was Day 54 of the session. Six bills were under consideration during another long day of debate.

The morning activity started with LB920 which was being debated the evening before. LB920 is the Criminal Justice Institute bill brought forth by Senator Steve Lathrop (Dist. 12 - Omaha). A cloture vote failed in mid-morning effectively killing the bill for the session.

Next up was LB933 the Human Life Protection Act, which consumed the majority of Wednesday debate time. The bill introduced by Senator Joni Albrecht (Dist. 17 - Thurston) and prioritized by Speaker Mike Hilgers (Dist. 21 - Lincoln) made it to General File after a pull motion. Framed as a “trigger bill” if passed into law, LB933 would provide mechanisms to alter Nebraska’s abortion laws if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade. After a full eight hours of debate the bill fell short of cloture by two votes.

LB933 Vote Card (courtesy of nebraskalegislature.gov)

LB843 was next up on the docket. Debate on LB843 began after 8 pm Wednesday evening. As a change of pace, the bill advanced quickly and easily from General File to Select File in under 20 minutes. The bill was brought forth by Senator Tom Brewer (Dist. 43 - Gordon) as the Government Committee priority bill. It addresses a number of election related issues from mail-in ballots to mail-in deadlines and dropbox procedures.

The Executive Board Committee priority bill LB686 introduced by Senator Dan Hughes (Dist. 44 - Venango) received a short discussion before the legislature moved on to other bills for the evening. LB686 amends the membership of each of the three caucuses from which the at-large members of the Executive Board are chosen. The modifications reflect the changes made to legislative districts during the redistricting process in 2021.

Senator Adam Morfeld’s LB1130 relates to the Nebraska Statewide Workforce and Education Reporting System Act (NSWERS). A recently completed proof-of-concept data project from Nebraska's public education and workforce agencies showed that 31% of Nebraska students could not be traced into the Nebraska workforce based on current available data. Morfeld’s bill would allow expanded data collection. The legislature approved a Business and Labor Committee amendment to the bill before moving on to another bill.

The Legislative Performance Audit Committee priority bill is LB1150. It provides the Legislature with the additional information necessary to improve audits of the ImagiNE act. The bill used recommendations from the Performance Audit Committee’s memo on ImagiNE Act data that was released on January 10th. The bill advanced to Select File Wednesday night.

The legislature will begin debate this morning with Final Reading of LB873. LB873 is a tax cut package that is expected to pass. Following the LB873 debate and vote will be three motions to override vetoes of Governor Ricketts.

NSN will have full coverage of LB873, the veto overrides, and everything else that might happen on the Unicameral agenda. -30-

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