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John Cavanaugh

Sen. John Cavanaugh

District 9

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2022 Session Review
April 27th, 2022

The 107th Nebraska Legislature, Second Session adjourned last week. We said farewell to 13 senators who will not be returning next year, and looked back on an eventful and busy session.

I am disappointed in the failure of the Legislature to pass Sen. Steve Lathrop’s LB920, which was an important step in criminal justice reform and addressing the serious overcrowding issues in our state correctional facilities. I will continue to look for ways to address sentencing reform in future sessions.

The Legislature passed LB921, my priority bill, by a 46-0 vote and the Governor signed it into law. LB921 contains two bills: LB952, which I introduced, that requires Medicaid enrollment assistance for inmates prior to their release date. And LB1223, from Sen. Matt Hansen, which provides for reimbursement to counties for defendants awaiting a determination of competency. Both bills are small but important changes to improve outcomes in our criminal justice system.

The Legislature also passed, as part of the election bill LB843, my bill LB733 which prohibits foreign nationals from making a contribution to a ballot question committee. This change in state law was necessary because of a Federal Election Commission ruling which stated that foreign nationals could spend on ballot measure campaigns without violating federal law.

We dealt with a lot of big issues this session, from funding for ARPA, which thanks to the efforts of Sen. Wayne and Sen. McKinney saw a historic investment in North and South Omaha, to a massive tax package which to my disappointment disproportionately directed relief to the wealthy and corporations. We rejected a total ban on abortion, and a permitless concealed carry law.

With at least 13 new senators next year, over a quarter of the body will be replaced when we reconvene in January. Over the interim I will work on issues and legislation in preparation to introduce in 2023, and I look forward to meeting my new colleagues after they are elected in November.

I introduced six interim studies:

LR393, to examine the committee hearing procedures of the Legislature.

LR394, to examine potential changes to Nebraska’s net metering policy.

LR395, to examine Nebraska’s statutory mechanisms for postconviction relief.

LR396, to examine the funding needs of the Commission on Public Advocacy.

LR423, to examine the current practices of court appointment of attorneys.

and LR424, to research the topic of home equity theft.

These and other issues will be my focus during the interim and leading up to next session. As always, you can reach my office by calling (402) 471-2723 or emailing

Sen. John Cavanaugh

District 9
Room 1008
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
(402) 471-2723
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