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On Wednesday, April 22 Governor Dave Heineman vetoed LB 916, a bill the Legislature passed on a 43-0 vote last Thursday. LB 916, introduced by Senator Sue Crawford (District 45, Bellevue) and prioritized by Senator Dan Watermeier (District 1, Syracuse), eliminates the integrated practice agreement from nurse practitioner statutes.
“I am extremely disappointed that Governor Heineman vetoed LB 916,” Senator Crawford expressed. “By vetoing LB 916, Governor Heineman squandered an opportunity to expand healthcare access in Nebraska through legislation that received overwhelming support from Democrats and Republicans and had no fiscal impact to the state. What’s more, this veto is out of step with recommendations from the National Governor’s Association, the Institute of Medicine, the Federal Trade Commission, and Veteran’s Administration that all call for the elimination of integrated practice agreements.”
“As the priority sponsor of LB 916, I am very discouraged and disappointed by the Governor’s decision to veto this legislation,” shared Senator Dan Watermeier. “I prioritized LB 916 because of its promise to cut red tape and reduce government regulation that currently undermine Nebraska’s ability to recruit and retain nurse practitioners. This is why both the Technical Review Board and Board of Health voted to approve this change during the 407 review process. LB 916 was a fiscally prudent approach to addressing the needs of our most underserved populations and in medical specialty areas, like mental health and primary care. I appreciate the support of many of my colleagues who share this fiscally responsible approach to addressing healthcare shortages in Nebraska. Because of its strong support by members of the Legislature and many Nebraskans across the state, I fully anticipate we will eliminate this barrier to health care access in the next legislative session.”
“On behalf of the Nebraska Nurse Practitioners and our members, we echo Senator Crawford’s disappointment regarding the outcome of LB 916,” shared Ladonna Hart, ARPN-NP and president of Nebraska Nurse Practitioners. “This proposal presented a no-cost solution to addressing critical workforce shortage areas across the state and increased access to primary and mental health care for all Nebraskans. Despite the final decision of the Governor to veto this bill, we are thankful for the strong bipartisan vote LB 916 received and we are grateful for the vote of 44 legislators who stood in support of this important legislation.”
Senator Crawford concluded her comments saying, “Despite my disappointment with the Governor’s decision, I was encouraged by the strong vote the bill received on Final Reading last week. It is clear that the Legislature is ready to lead on this issue. I intend to introduce a bill eliminating this restriction of trade early next session and look forward to working with my colleagues and the next Governor to finish what we started.