The past two weeks have been busy with hearings and floor debate. I introduced two major bills and also voted on two bills introduced by others.
LB 373, to mandate seat belts on school buses manufactured after 2016, was introduced February 23 in front of the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee. I had a school bus seat with three belts in the rotunda and it is now on display in my office.
LB 532, to fund a virtual medical learning center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, was introduced yesterday in front of the Appropriations Committee. I was happy to carry this bill, which would put Nebraska at the forefront of medical education and research.
LB 77, a bill to expand women’s health services, failed to advance from General File. I had many emails concerning this bill. In the end, I voted against the bill for the following reasons:
1. The Every Woman Matters Program remains in place.
2. The expanded services the bill would have provided are already available to people of all income levels by federally funded private agencies.
3. My vote was not against women’s health. It was a vote against our tax dollars paying for expanded services.
This week, on March 2nd, the use of cloture advanced LB 10 from General File. A cloture motion is allowed after eight hours of floor debate on one bill. The motion requires 33 votes. If the votes are obtained, there is a vote on the bill, which requires 25 to advance. If 33 votes are not obtained, the bill is done for the session. I voted for cloture and the bill.
LB 10, called the “Winner Take All” bill, would change the way the state’s electoral votes are designated. Frankly, I like the way Nebraska and Maine count their votes. When Nebraska first passed this issue in 1991, there was hope that other states would follow Nebraska’s lead.
Since that has not occurred in regard to the other states, Nebraska gives up a possible vote(s) in the Electoral College. I expect this will meet additional filibuster during Select File or Final Reading.