In 2019, 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. Our public policy work will continue this decade, starting with the 2nd Session of Nebraska's 106th Legislature.
Each year, we publish our Legislative Priorities Chart listing the public policy issues we will be focusing on during the session. The chart consists of three categories:
- "High Priority" legislation receives the most attention from our public policy team. We provide testimony at the hearing, collaborate with policymakers and partners, and educate community members on the issue.
- For "Medium Priority" legislation, we write letters to policymakers, often times in conjunction with other disability rights partners.
- We track the progress of legislation in the "Monitor" category but have decided not to take any action on these bills at the time.
View the 2020 Legislative Priorities Chart to learn more about the legislation Disability Rights Nebraska has prioritized for this legislative session. Visit our 2019 Legislative Updates page for a recap of our work during last year's session, or review our 2019 Legislative Bill Chart for the end-of-session statuses of last year's priority legislation.
LB 976, a bill that would "Redefine handicapped or disabled person for purposes of handicapped or disabled parking permits," was amended into an omnibus transportation bill on March 6th. On February 26th, Disability Rights Nebraska testified in support of LB 976. On March 6th, the omnibus bill, LB 944, advanced to Enrollment and Review for Engrossment.
Read more about the omnibus transportation bill and the provisions it includes in the Unicameral Update Article.
On Feb. 27, the Government, Military, and Veteran Affairs Committee discussed LR292CA - a bill that would require voters to present a photo of themselves at the polls on Election Day. Read the Unicameral Update article for more information.
Disability Rights Nebraska opposes LR292CA and will submit a letter of opposition to Nebraska senators.
Yesterday, the Urban Affairs Committee discussed a bill that would expand parking permits to individuals with neurological disorders. At the hearing, nobody testified against LB 976 and the committee took no immediate action on the bill.
Disability Rights Nebraska supports LB 976, and Public Policy Director, Brad Meurrens, testified in support of the bill at the hearing.
A 10/11 News video features a Lincoln mother who is advocating for legislative action to obtain free parking for people with autism and other neurological disabilities.
LB 976, proposed by Sen. Bolz, would do just that. The hearing for LB 976 took place before the Urban Affairs Committee on Feb. 25.
LB 853, a medium priority bill on Disability Rights Nebraska's Legislative Agenda, was amended into an omnibus banking bill and advanced from general file on February 18. The omnibus bill, LB 909, includes provisions from LB 853 that would authorize financial institutions to place a hold on transactions in cases of financial exploitation. On February 18, LB 909 advanced from general file. Read more on the Unicameral Update website.
On Thursday, February 13, 2020, the Judiciary Committee of the Nebraska Legislature heard testimony on two of Disability Rights Nebraska's high priority legislative bills. LB1208, sponsored by Omaha Sen. Tony Vargas, would prohibit the state Department of Correctional Services from placing an inmate in restrictive housing for more than 15 consecutive days. LB786 The committee also heard testimony on LB786, sponsored by Sen. Steve Lathrop, would require that all inmates housed within the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services be screened for traumatic brain injury, developmental disability and severe mental illness upon initial admission to a facility. Public Policy Director, Brad Meurrens, testified in support of both bills. Read the full article on the Unicameral Update website.
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This month does not have any events.