With the deaths of George Floyd in Minnesota and James Scurlock in Nebraska prompting a critical dialogue about policing and racial equity in our communities, the Judiciary Committee of the Nebraska Legislature will hold a pair of listening forums to hear from members of the public.
The forums will allow the public to speak directly to lawmakers tasked with oversight of our state’s justice system. People are encouraged to share their experiences, concerns and ideas about change.
“Nebraskans have had the opportunity to express themselves through public demonstrations over the past two weeks,” said State Sen. Steve Lathrop of Omaha, Judiciary Committee chairman. “Now we are providing an opportunity to appeal directly to elected officials.”
The Omaha session will take place Monday, June 8 at the Scott Conference Center in Aksarben Village. The Lincoln session will be held Tuesday, June 9 at NET, Nebraska’s PBS & NPR Station. Both events will be live-streamed on NET and broadcast live on NET World. See below for specific event details.
At the request of the venues and out of respect for public health, masks are required at both events. Space at the venues will be limited in order to maintain social distancing in alignment with the governor’s directed health measures. Due to ongoing renovations at the Capitol and limited space for social distancing in our hearing rooms, we were unable to hold these forums in the Capitol. Because the Lincoln venue is particularly small, anyone who is able to attend the Omaha event is encouraged to do so.
Depending on crowd sizes, individuals may also be asked to limit their speaking time so the committee can hear from as many people as possible. In the interest of public health and safety, people are asked to comply with all city and state health and emergency measures, both inside and outside the venues.
Monday, June 8, 9 a.m.
Scott Conference Center
6450 Pine St.
* Note: While this venue is larger than the Lincoln venue, we might still have an overflow crowd. After speaking, attendees are asked to consider making room for anyone still waiting outside. Parking is available in Lot 9 directly south of the venue.
Tuesday, June 9, 9 a.m.
NET, Nebraska’s PBS & NPR Headquarters
1800 N. 33rd St.
* Note: Enter through east doors. Due to venue size, only a limited number of individuals will be allowed into the studio at a time.
A link to the live-stream for each event will be posted on the NET website, netnebraska.org, and can also be accessed before the event by visiting nebraskalegislature.gov and clicking on the “Live Video Streaming” link.
If you are not testifying in person on a bill and would like to submit a written position letter to be included in the official hearing record as an exhibit, the letter must be delivered to the office of the committee chair (or emailed to the committee chair) of the committee conducting the hearing on the bill by 5:00 p.m. on the last work day prior to the public hearing.
Additionally, the letter must 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. Mass mailings, form letters or post cards will not be included in the public record.
The following is information to assist you in presenting your testimony to the committee.
Senator Steve Lathrop, Chairperson…………..……………..Omaha / District 12
Senator Patty Pansing-Brooks, Vice Chair ……..………….Lincoln / District 28
Senator Tom Brandt…………………………………………Plymouth / District 32
Senator Ernie Chambers .……..……………….……………Omaha/ District 11
Senator Wendy DeBoer…………..………………………….Bennington/ District 10
Senator Adam Morfeld …….……………………………….Lincoln/ District 46
Senator Julie Slama…………………………………………..Peru/ District 1
Senator Justin Wayne…………….………………………….Omaha/ District 13
The order in which the committee will take up bills will be as posted the day before the hearing on the Agenda but will be subject to change at the discretion of the chairperson.
There are yellow testifier sheets on the table as you enter the hearing room. Fill out a yellow testifier sheet only if you actually plan to testify before the committee. Please legibly PRINT your name, complete address, position on the bill and who you represent regarding the bill on which you wish to testify.
Hand the yellow testifier sheet to the page as you come forward to testify.
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 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.
You may submit copies of someone else’s testimony for the record, but you may not read it while testifying.
– If you have a prepared statement, it is helpful to make 12 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.
-SHUT OFF OR SILENCE CELL PHONES
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