For those who may have been watching the Legislature during the past week, you might have been reminded of the old Mark Twain quote: “People who love sausage and respect the law should never watch either one being made.”
As we wait for this year’s bills to start coming out of committee and onto the floor, our mornings in session have been spent in confirming appointees for various boards, commissions, and agency positions, and trudging our way through bills that were placed on General File yet last year.
On Monday, we took up debate on my LB289, a gun “preemption” bill which would have universalized gun laws throughout the state. My argument is and has been that from both a Second Amendment and Nebraska Constitution issue (Article 1, Section 1), all citizens of Nebraska should have a reasonable expectation that if they are obeying the laws in one place of Nebraska, that they’re obeying them in all places.
Not surprisingly, Senator Chambers decided to lead a filibuster against the bill, which meant that we would require 33 votes to stop debate and move to actual consideration of the legislation. Rules of the Legislature allow 6 hours of debate on General File before a motion to invoke cloture can be made. We used up all of those 6 hours on Monday, Tuesday and the first 1 our so on Wednesday. I worked with several Lincoln and Omaha senators to try and come to some sort of compromise on issues related to Lincoln and Omaha ordinances which exceed current state law where guns possession is concerned, but unfortunately, we couldn’t come to agreement prior to the Cloture motion being filed. Ultimately, the bill failed to get a final vote, as we came up one vote short of the 33 needed to break cloture.
Following that effort, we moved through a number of bills in fairly short order–including the movement of LB471 (Prescription Drug Monitoring) to Select File; LB47, as amended (the Motor Vehicle Operator’s License Act relating to anatomical gifts, which now makes the question optional, rather than mandatory) to Final Reading, and others.
My LB270–a bill I carried for the Department of Labor last year, finally emerged from committee, and was advanced without controversy to Select File.
Committee hearings are going in full swing. A number of constituents have stopped by when they’re in town–and I thank them for that. You’re always welcome to drop by, and if I’m not in, my staff will be happy to chat for a few minutes. If you want to have extended time visiting with me during the session, it’s probably best to give us a call and try to set up a time–days are pretty packed.
As always, you can contact me via my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org or my office phone number, 402-471-2711. Sign up for my email updates here: http://lauraebke.com/sign-up
State Senator, District 32