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Nebraska Becomes 20th State to Grant Independent Practice for Nurse Practitioners
On Thursday afternoon, Governor Ricketts signed LB 107, a bill I introduced this year to eliminate integrated practice agreements for nurse practitioners. LB 107 represents a no-cost option to improve access to health care in our state, particularly in our rural areas. I am proud to work on this issue for nurse practitioners across the state and appreciate the support of Governor Ricketts and the 46 senators who supported the bill. Nebraska now joins 19 other states, including neighboring Iowa, who have eliminated this unnecessary government restriction on nurse practitioners.
Bills Aimed to Help Veterans, Active Duty Military Advance
Last Friday, Governor Ricketts signed LB 219, a bill I introduced this year to adopt the Uniform Deployed Parents and Custody Act. LB 219 provides a clear, legal framework for parents and judges to use to make arrangements for children subject to a Parenting Plan when a military parent is deployed. The bill creates a framework to establish a plan for reducing disruption for the child when a military member with parenting time gets deployed if the court finds the plan to be in the best interest of the child.
Yesterday, the Legislature passed LB 272 on a 45-0 vote to create a voluntary hiring preference option for private sector employees. Veterans’ skills, particularly their leadership skills, don’t always translate well into a civilian resume. This is especially true for employment opportunities that might use algorithms or other automated processes with search terms to sort resumes. For example, Missile Operator or Vehicle Maintenance Controller would not generate a hit in the algorithm the way Program Manager might, even though both positions required many of the same skills. What’s more, only 1 in 600 corporate hiring managers come from a military background. LB 272 allows businesses to give these veterans’ resumes a second look and consider hiring them if they are equally qualified for the position.
This Week in Urban Affairs
The Urban Affairs Committee completed its public hearings on February 28th, but the committee’s work is far from over this session. Since completing hearings, the committee has held multiple executive sessions over the past week.
Executive session is often when the “meat” of a legislative committee’s work is done. Senators discuss the bills that were heard by committee and request that committee staff obtain additional information or draft amendments to bills. Bills can only be advanced during an executive session, so while a bill may have its public hearing early in the legislative session, it cannot be considered by the full legislature until after the committee “execs” on the bill.
While executive sessions are closed to the public, members of the media are permitted to attend and report on actions taken during the session. All votes taken during executive session are public record, and when a committee votes to advance or indefinitely postpone (kill) a bill, those votes appear clearly on the bill’s committee statement.
Committees often meet to “exec” on a bill one afternoon a week following hearings. In addition, the Speaker typically designates two days as “check-in” days for committees. This past Thursday was the first of this session’s “check in” days for 2-day and 1-day committees like Urban Affairs and Business and Labor. Next Tuesday will be the “check-in” day for 3-day committees such as Health and Human Services and Judiciary.
This week, two additional bills from the Urban Affairs Committee were signed into law by Governor Ricketts, bringing the total number of enacted Urban Affairs bills to six. These two bills were:
LB 116: Change election procedures and membership for certain sanitary and improvement district boards of trustees
LB 266: Change provisions relating to jurisdiction for municipalities to enforce ordinances
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