Legislative Update: Senators introduce impactful bills

The 107th Nebraska Legislative Session is off to an exciting start, with a wide variety of bills on a wide range of topics. In this article I will be giving an overview of a few influential bills that have been introduced this session that could soon be signed into law. 

Many of the bills concerning education could have a significant impact on students. LB 872, introduced by Senator Tom Brewer, would allow Indigenous students to wear their tribal regalia in schools. LB 153, introduced by Senator Justin Wayne, would include virtual school students in calculations of money provided to schools. 

Several resolutions have also been introduced to conduct studies on the feasibility of topics such as a coding curriculum, an agricultural school, the impact of natural hair discrimination in schools, and many others. One resolution, introduced by Senator Tom Brewer, would limit the amount of public school funding that can come from property taxes. The use of property taxes to fund area schools can further school inequalities because schools in wealthier neighborhoods with higher property values (and thus higher property taxes) receive more funding. 

Abortion has been debated in the state of Nebraska for an extraordinarily long time, and this legislative session is no exception. Senator Julie Slama introduced a bill known as the “Heartbeat bill,” which would restrict abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected at around six weeks, before many people even know they are pregnant. Senator Joni Albrecht introduced a bill that would, if Roe v. Wade was overturned on a federal level, immediately ban abortion in Nebraska. In other states, these bills are known as “trigger laws.” 

However, several bills have also been introduced to protect abortion rights in Nebraska. LB716, introduced by Senator Megan Hunt, would allow qualified practitioners to administer abortions (instead of just physicians.) LB 715, also introduced by Senator Hunt, would allow abortions to be covered under publicly funded health insurance coverage. 

The full list of introduced bills can be found at nebraskalegislature.gov. On this site, you can also find your senator and submit comments on bills that are important to you. Nebraskans can monitor the status of bills as well as learn about the processes of the state legislature.