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Sen. Sue Crawford

Sen. Sue Crawford

District 45

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Legislative Update: March 31

March 31st, 2014

Personal Priority Bill Passed, Other Crawford Priority Bills Advance

This week was a busy and successful week for several of the bills on our agenda.  My personal priority bill, LB 740, passed the third and final round of debate on a 48-0 vote.  LB 740 allows veterans and their families to start their undergraduate degree right away by granting immediate residency for in-state tuition. The bill now goes to the Governor for his signature, which I hope will happen in the next few days.  In Nebraska, governors have five days, excluding Sundays, after receiving the bill  to sign or veto a bill.  If the governor does not sign or veto the bill, it becomes law notwithstanding his signature.

On Monday, I joined 28 of my colleagues in advancing LB 916 to the second round of debate.  LB 916, a bill I introduced and Senator Watermeier prioritized, removes the integrated practice agreement for nurse practitioners. 17 other states, including Colorado and Iowa, allow nurse practitioners to practice without this type of agreement.

LB 916 as amended creates a transition-to-practice agreement for new nurse practitioners’ first year of practice .  Physicians or nurse practitioners with at least 5 years of experience are eligible to serve as supervising providers in these short-term agreements.  If LB 916 becomes law, nurse practitioners will be able to offer safe, high quality, cost-effective health care, particularly to underserved populations, while maintaining collaboration, consultation and referral requirements in the Nurse Practitioner Licensing Act.

Tuesday afternoon the Legislature advanced two additional bills I introduced this session:LB 719 and LB 720.  LB 719 was selected by the Speaker as one of his 25 Speaker priority bills.  I introduced these bills as part of a responsive regulations package to bring greater transparency, efficiency and accountability to Nebraska’s rulemaking system.  LB 720 passed as an amendment onto LB 719 with a 27-0 vote.  The final package advanced 29-0 to Select File.

Interim Study Resolutions Introduced

Wednesday marked the deadline for interim study resolutions.  Interim studies are in-depth policy analyses conducted by Senators and legislative staff between sessions. The format of these studies vary but typically they involve meetings with interested parties and can include a legislative committee hearing in the fall. Often, the results of these studies become bills that are introduced the following session. For example, 3 bills I introduced this session (LB 740, LB 769 and LB 902) were the result of our interim study LR 201 examining policy options to support military families.

This session I introduced 6 interim studies.  Here is a brief description of these studies:

  1. LR 433: examines issues relating to a compassionate waiver for the use of CBD oil for children with epilepsy whose seizures are not treated by current available drugs.
  2. LR 533: focuses on former foster youth who have aged out of the foster care system and their eligibility for health insurance.
  3. LR 555studies how cities and villages provide services to residents located in sanitary improvement districts of cities and villages.
  4. LR 582: examines unfunded and underfunded mandates on counties and county governments and their impact on property tax rates.
  5. LR 583: assesses the behavioral health and mental health needs of K-12 students and available resources to meet those needs.
  6. LR 585: examines statutory issues surrounding cities of the first class, like Bellevue.

We will be busy working on these interim studies and other bill ideas over the interim. Look for more information about these studies in the coming weeks and months.

Special Committee Assignments Finalized

This week, the Executive Board of the Legislature voted on assignments to several special legislative committees created as a result of legislation passed this session, including the ACCESSNebraska Special Investigative committee and the Department of Correctional Services Special Investigative Committee to examine the circumstances surrounding Nikko Jenkins’ time in prison and subsequent release.  I am happy to share that I was selected as one of seven members of the ACCESSNebraska Special Investigative committee (LR 400).  I look forward to digging into the issues surrounding ACCESSNebraska and hope that the committee finds ways to make this system work better for our low income families and our elderly.

55th Wing Protocol Visits Lincoln

On Wednesday, I was delighted to welcome Airmen of the 55th Wing Protocol to the Capitol for a visit and tour.  Their visit included a chance to watch debate on prison reform on the floor of the Legislature and a tour of the Capitol.  For several airmen, it was their first visit to the Capitol.

Offutt Air Force Base’s 55th Wing Protocol took time to visit my office on their visit to the Capitol from Bellevue
I enjoyed getting to know them better over lunch and hope they will visit again soon.  If you are planning a trip to Lincoln and would like help setting up a tour, please contact my office at (402) 471-2615.

Sen. Sue Crawford

District 45
Room #1016
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2615
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