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Dear Residents of the 40th District,
The Legislature debated LB22, which would adopt the Mandate Opt-Out and Insurance Coverage Clarification Act. Under LB22, introduced by Senator Beau McCoy of Omaha, Nebraska will not allow health insurance plans that cover abortions to participate in health insurance exchanges. LB22 also seeks to prohibit private health insurance sold in Nebraska from providing coverage for an elective abortion except through an optional rider that is paid for solely by the insured. After much discussion, the bill was advanced to select file. As a strong supporter of pro-life legislation, this bill is an important step in preserving life by making it more cumbersome to have an abortion in our state.
The Judiciary Committee held hearings on many controversial bills. LB276, introduced by Senator Brenda Council of Omaha, would seek to eliminate the death penalty and replace it with life imprisonment. I oppose this legislation and believe that the people of Nebraska should have the opportunity to punish offenders of the most heinous crimes with a sentence of death.
The Judiciary Committee also heard testimony of several bills related to immigration concerns. LB48, introduced by Senator Charlie Janssen of Fremont, pertains to local law enforcement officers’ responsibilities in checking immigration status as well as making it a state crime to be employed without legal authorization to work in the United States. LB569, introduced by Senator Colby Coash of Lincoln, would require all employers in the state to use E-verify when hiring new employees. Senators Brenda Council of Omaha and Tony Fulton of Lincoln introduced resolutions urging action by federal government and local law enforcement agencies, respectively. Dealing with illegal immigration has been a challenge for state governments, and I support stricter state laws to address these challenges. Specifically, E-verify is a low cost system that is already required for new public employees and could be extended to a broader range of employers.
The Agriculture Committee and the General Affairs Committee have both concluded their public hearings and will be making final determinations about which bills to advance to the floor. The Legislature passed several bills this week that I strongly support, including LB383, eliminating state aid to cities and counties, and LB81, disallowing cities from enacting a wheel tax on nonresidents.
Please feel free to contact my office with your questions and comments at (402) 471-2801 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senator Tyson Larson