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This column covers legislative days 71 through 74.
Greetings to all in District 16 and the surrounding area. Another week has passed in the Unicameral as we near the end of the session. As of May 10th, only 15 days remain in the 2019 legislative session. The past week was one of the more intense weeks we’ve had this year as we took up issues of property tax relief, education funding, and a pro-life bill that went to a cloture vote in order to pass.
LB 209, a bill introduced by Senator Albrecht of District 17 that I cosponsored, would require doctors to give proper informed consent in regards to medication abortions, which are how a majority of abortions are performed in Nebraska today. Doctors would be required to inform the patient seeking an abortion that there is the possibility of a reversal medication after the initial medication has been administered. This bill came under attack from others in the legislature who claim it supports faulty science. I, along with other co-signers of the bill, vigorously defended the scientific studies supporting the bill and the underlying reason it should be passed. Any woman who chooses to undergo a medication abortion should have all the information presented to her. If putting the correct information into the hands of a conflicted woman saves one innocent child’s life, it will have been worth it. I am incredibly honored to have supported and defended this bill that has the potential to be literally life-giving to Nebraskans across the state.
Other bills hotly debated last week include LB 289 – the Revenue Committee’s proposal for property tax relief and basic education funding. I’ve received many calls, texts, and emails about LB 289 from constituents in the district. Some passionately support the bill and others oppose it. I’ve decided to keep my mind open and listen to the thoughts and opinions of constituents and the arguments of other senators before making a decision on the bill. Please continue to reach out to me and my office; your input helps me do my job as your representative in Lincoln. LB 289 received 3 hours of debate last week and will likely receive another round of debate before coming to a vote.
Finally, on Friday, May 10th we took action on 30 bills. One of my bills, LB 260 introduced to eliminate a requirement for the state to hire a Recovery Audit Contractor, or RAC, to audit Medicaid claims advanced. This bill will make our state more efficient and allow it to better allocate resources regarding Medicaid. This is a step in the right direction in resolving some of the Medicaid issues our providers are facing across the state.
If you have questions or comments, please contact the District 16 office at (402)-471-2728 to speak with my Administrative Assistant, Ellie Stangl; or my Legislative Aide, Jacob Campbell. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. To follow along with the session please visit nebraskalegislature.gov or you may watch the live stream when available at netnebraska.org