Disability Rights Nebraska's Public Policy Team worked hard to protect the rights of people with disabilities during the 1st Session of the 106th Legislature. This session, we provided analyses and testimony on issues that affect the disability community. We addressed “High Priority” bills with testimony, personal contacts and education, and “Medium Priority” bills with letters, often in conjunction with other disability rights partners. Additionally, we helped inform the public about the legislative process in Nebraska and upcoming legislation that may affect people with disabilities.
Learn more about Nebraska's legislative process or recap last year's session by visiting our 2018 Legislative Updates page.
On May 24, the Nebraska Legislature passed a bill to establish a trust fund for brain injury research and advocacy. LB 481 was originally introduced to state intent regarding how the state Department of Health and Human Services administers the federal Title X Program. LB 642 replaced those provisions, and the bill now creates the Brain Injury Trust Fund. Disability Rights Nebraska supported LB 642.
On Friday, May 24th, Nebraska lawmakers approved a bill that would make multiple changes to criminal justice statutes. Originally, LB686 would have imposed new requirements on the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services for declaring a prison overcrowding emergency. This bill was replaced with provisions of several other bills, including LB 739. This bill would prohibit the Department of Correctional Services from placing an individual who is a member of a vulnerable population in restrictive housing. Disability Rights Nebraska support LB 739.
On May 23, the legislature gave final approval to LB 15, which requires most health insurance plans to pay for hearing aids for Nebraskans younger than 19. Disability Rights Nebraska's Public Policy Intern, Olivia Versaw, testified in support of this bill.