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Welcome back to our second legislative update of the year! This week in the Nebraska Legislature, all of the committees have finished their hearings and we will start all day debate next week.
At the beginning of the Legislative Session we convene for the first half of the day and have committee hearings during the afternoon. Once committee hearings are done, we switch to all day debate on bills.
I want to share an update on my priority bill and an update on what is going on in your legislature.
My priority bill, LB252, was voted out of the General Affairs Committee with all members voting in favor of the bill this past Monday. It was then placed on General File on March 26, 2019. When a bill is placed on General File it means that the bill is ready for the first stage of debate by the full Legislature. Bills on General File may be amended, returned to committee, indefinitely postponed, or advanced to Select File. Due to it being placed on General File, it has been added to the Legislative Agenda for next week, April 2nd. I look forward to keeping you posted on what happens to the bill next.
I also wanted to mention another bill this week that I am very passionate about. It is LB316, sponsored by Senator Mark Kolterman from Seward. LB316 would provide protections for pharmacies to disclose information regarding drug prices and prohibit insurers from charging covered individuals in excess of certain amounts.
This bill projects what I see as good government. It provides the oversight that is needed when it comes to both prescriptions and insurance companies. The transparency in turn produces better service to the patient and the taxpayer.
LB316 would provide a level of transparency in the pharmaceutical department that I believe is desperately needed. As of right now, pharmacies are restricted on sharing pricing information with patients which means that they cannot tell a patient if there is a cheaper prescription for them or not. This bill would allow them to be able to share that information with the consumer and inform a patient if it is cheaper to pay for the prescription out of pocket, rather than pay the insurance copay. Currently, the pharmacist can only tell a patient the cheaper option for their prescription if the patient specifically asks that pharmacist.
As always, feel free to contact my office. My office phone number is 402-471-2731 and my email is email@example.com.