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Over the interim months, the Legislature continues to hold several hearings on Legislative Resolutions which are used to study issues that may lead to bills in the next legislative session and impact our state. Sometimes special committees are formed to study current issues facing the state. I sit on a special committee that was created via LR127, which was introduced last year. It created the Nebraska Justice System Special Oversight Committee looking at not only the justice system but also a review of the role of state agencies and their involvement in the justice system. This week I would like to tell you about interim hearings and LR 127.
Committees hold hearings in the off months just like they would while in session. All legislative resolutions are assigned to a standing committee and that committee decides if they will hold a public hearing or simply study the topic. Most hearings are broadcast through the legislative website. You can find the link through which to access the hearings at the end of this article. At these hearings, there is often invited testimony, as well as, opportunities for the public to make comments. The main purpose of these hearings is to gather information on a subject. Senators are able to ask questions and learn more about the issues facing Nebraska. As I mentioned, the information gathered through these hearings can help produce legislation for the upcoming session.
LR 127 created the Nebraska Justice System Special Oversight Committee. The committee will be meeting again on October 19th for a hearing. The hearing will cover adult justice system programs and policies implemented by the Department of Correctional Services, Office of Parole Administration, Board of Parole, Nebraska Commission on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, and the Office of Probations administration. These hearings are great opportunities for senators to learn and gather information from the professionals working every day in that field. One of the main reasons I chose to be on this special committee is because we have had some significant challenges within our prison system and I need accurate information in order to make the right decisions. The Work Ethic Camp in McCook is part of our Corrections System and I want to make sure we are doing the best job possible with the resources allocated and to ensure the public’s safety.
I always enjoy hearing from the Nebraskans I represent. Please feel free to contact my office with any questions or concerns that you might have. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and my phone number is (402) 471-2805. You can read more about bills and other work of the Legislature at www.nebraskalegislature.gov, and you can click on the Live Video Streaming NET logo to watch sessions, hearings, and other Capitol events.