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Judiciary Committee

January 4th, 2017

The Judiciary Committee is responsible for processing legislation involving the following subject areas:

  • courts; judges; procedures; Rules of Evidence; judicial districts; jurisdiction; juvenile code
  • criminal code; crimes and punishments; capital punishment
  • guardianships and conservatorships
  • probate
  • community corrections
  • law enforcement; State Patrol
  • criminal procedure; crime victim’s reparations
  • civil procedure; civil law
  • probation; parole
  • real property; conveyances; liens; condemnation; eminent domain; landlords and tenants
  • marriage and divorce; child custody
  • child support; parenting time
  • liens; liability; tort claims; civil rights; arbitration; obscenity; abortion
  • immigration
  • handgun permits; possession and use of guns

During session, the Judiciary Committee meets on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays in Room 1113 on the 1st floor of the Capitol.


The following is information to assist you in presenting your testimony to the committee at a public hearing


  • Senator Steve Lathrop, Chair……………….…Omaha / District 12
  • Senator Patty Pansing-Brooks, V Chair..…Lincoln / District 28
  • Senator Tom Brandt..……………………..….Plymouth / District 32
  • Senator Wendy DeBoer…………………….Bennington/ District 10
  • Senator Suzanne Geist……………………………Lincoln/ District 25
  • Senator Terrell McKinney…………………….….Omaha/ District 11
  • Senator Adam Morfeld……………………………Lincoln/ District 46
  • Senator Julie Slama………………………………….…..Peru/ District 1

The order in which the committee will take up bills will be as posted on the Agenda but will be subject to change at the discretion of the chairperson.


The Legislature will no longer be accepting written, submitted testimony prior to the committee hearing. To appear on the transcript and committee statement, a testifier must physically appear before a committee and be available to answer questions from the committee members. No changes have been made to the submission of a position letter or the submission of online comments.

1) In-Person Testimony:
As always, persons attending a public hearing will have an opportunity to give verbal testimony.
Fill out a yellow testifier sheet only if you are actually testifying before the committee – Please PRINT legibly. Hand the yellow testifier sheet to the page as you come forward to testify.
*Only persons verbally testifying before the committee will be included on the Committee Statement

There is also a separate sign-in sheet available at the table for people who are present at the hearing who wish to express their support or opposition to a bill, but do not wish to testify. This sheet will be included as an exhibit in the official hearing record. Sign this sheet only if you are not testifying,

The introducer of the bill will make an opening statement, followed by testimony from proponents, opponents and neutral testimony. Closings are reserved for the introducing senator only.

When you come forward to testify, hand your yellow testifier sheet to the page. Please state your first and last name and SPELL THEM FOR THE RECORD before proceeding with your testimony.

We use a light system with a time limit for all testifiers other than the introducer of the bill. The green light will come on when you start, the yellow light is your one-minute warning, and the red light means to wrap up your final thought and stop. The committee members may also ask you questions at the conclusion of your testimony.

– If you have a prepared statement, it is helpful to make 10 copies for the committee and staff. Written materials will be passed out by the pages and recorded as exhibits
– Use of props is not allowed as they cannot be made part of the official record.
– If you are following other testifiers, please listen to their comments and try not to be repetitive.
– Applause or demonstrations of any sort are not permitted.


2) Position Letter for the Record:

If you are not testifying in person on a bill or resolution,  but would like to submit a position letter to be included in the official hearing record as an exhibit, you must deliver your letter to the office of the committee chair or emailed to the committee’s email account List of Committee Emails by 12:00 p.m. CST on the last work day prior to the public hearing.

Letters emailed (and not hand-delivered) will not be included as part of the public hearing record if sent to any email other than the committee’s email account List of Committee Emails.

Your letter must identify the bill or resolution, include your name and address, state a position of for, against, or neutral, on the bill in question and include a request for the letter to be included as part of the public hearing record.

Please note that mass communications will also not be included as part of the official hearing record as an exhibit regardless of delivery time or requests to have the communication included.

Committee Members
  • Sen. Steve Lathrop, Chairperson
  • Sen. Tom Brandt
  • Sen. Wendy DeBoer
  • Sen. Suzanne Geist
  • Sen. Terrell McKinney
  • Sen. Adam Morfeld
  • Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks
  • Sen. Julie Slama
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