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107th Legislature - 1st Session

On April 21st, AM 990 to LB 529 was proposed in the Nebraska Legislature. Like similar bills and amendments proposed in the past, AM 990 would enact legislation to authorize the use of restraint on students. In response, Disability Rights Nebraska submitted comments to legislators to voice our concern with the proposed amendment.

On April 6, 2021, LB 527 cleared the first round of debate among Nebraska legislators. This bill would require public schools in Nebraska to provide transition students to students with developmental disabilities two years sooner. Disability Rights Nebraska supports LB 527.

Disability Rights Nebraska submitted comments on Nebraska's Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waivers. 

On March 29, LB 247 cleared the first-round of debate among Nebraska legislators. The bill would develop a task force to study the implementation of the 988 crisis hotline established by the federal government last year. Disability Rights Nebraska provided testimony supporting LB 247 at its initial hearing.

On March 29, LB 154, a bill that would require statewide implementation of a system that tracks student discipline, advanced to select file. Disability Rights Nebraska testified in support of this bill in early February.

Sen. Walz's LB529 received first-round approval yesterday. The bill would allocate about $100 million in lottery funds to education-related programs over five years. Sen. Murman pulled his proposed AM719, which would authorize physical intervention against students. In early February, Disability Rights Nebraska testified in support of LB529. On May 23, we sent comments to legislators relaying our concerns about the proposed AM719. We are pleased to see LB529 move forward without AM719.

On March 23, AM719 to LB529 was filed. While Disability Rights Nebraska testified in support of LB 529, which would enact the Behavioral Intervention Training and Teacher Support Act and the mental health training grant program, we have submitted comments to senators voicing our concerns with the proposed AM719, which would greenlight the use of physical intervention on students.

On March 15, LB83 advanced from general file. The bill would allow city councils, boards, and other political subdivisions to hold virtual meetings during a declared emergency. Disability Rights Nebraska holds a neutral position on this bill, and it is designated as Medium Priority on our Legislative Priorities Chart.

From the article: "A contentious legislative bill in the Nebraska Legislature looks to shield teachers from liability when using force to stop disorderly students. Opponents say the bill, LB 673, targets minority students and children with disabilities and similar proposed legislation in the past has failed." Disability Rights Nebraska testified in opposition to LB 673.

On Feb. 25, the Executive Board heard testimony on LR25, which would reauthorize an oversight committee for Nebraska's youth rehabilitation and treatment centers. Disability Rights Nebraska supports LR25 and has designated it on our list of Medium Priority bills this session.

The hearing for LB 493 before the Appropriations Committee occurred on February 25, 2021. LB 493 would provide funding to the Department of Health and Human Services to alleviate the state's developmental disability services wait list. Disability Rights Nebraska testified in support of this bill.

On Feb. 17, the Government, Military and Veteran Affairs Committee considered LR3CA. This bill would place a proposed amendment on 2022 general election ballot asking voters whether ID should be required to vote. Disability Rights Nebraska opposes LB3CA. LB3CA is listed as one of our Medium Priority bills this session.

On Feb. 9, the Legislature's Education Committee heard testimony on LB 673. LB 673 would authorize teachers and other school personnel to use physical intervention. Disability Rights Nebraska testified in opposition to LB 673.

Nebraska's 107th Legislature is in full-swing! We'll be releasing our bill chart in the coming weeks. In the meantime, watch this video to catch up on some of our highlights from the 106th Legislature (2019-2020).

On Feb. 4, the Judiciary Committee heard testimony on LB394. This legislation would allow certain departments to enact a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures during public health emergencies. Disability Rights Nebraska supports LB394, and identified it as a Medium Priority bill this session.

On February 4, the Judiciary Committee heard testimony on LB309. The bill's intent is to require specific documentation from tenants who have service or support animals. Disability Rights Nebraska testified in opposition to LB309.

Testimony on LB428 was heard by the Health and Human Services Committee on Feb. 3, 2021. LB 428 would require education programs in Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Centers to be equivalent to those offered in Nebraska's public schools. Disability Rights Nebraska supports this bill and identified it as Medium Priority.

On February 3, 2021, the Judiciary Committee heard testimony on LB 663, which would require DHHS to collect and transfer personal identification data of people placed into DHHS custody for court-ordered mental health treatment to the Nebraska Commission on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice. Disability Rights Nebraska testified in opposition to LB 663.

On Feb. 2, the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee heard testimony on legislation that would repeal Nebraska's motorcycle helmet requirement. Disability Rights Nebraska opposes this bill, and has included it under our Medium Priority legislation this session.

The Education Committee heard testimony for LB529 on February 2, 2021. This bill would allocate funding to the Behavioral Intervention Training and Teacher Support Act and the mental health training grant program. Disability Rights Nebraska testified in support of this bill.

The Nebraska Legislature has provided additional options for the public to provide their input on legislation. Now, citizens looking to share their thoughts with senators on legislation can do so through an online form on the Nebraska Legislature website.

The hearing for LB 45, proposed by Sen. Hansen, occurred before the Judiciary Committee on Jan. 27. This bill would repeal a current state law that prohibits judges from granting a continuance in eviction proceedings unless extraordinary cause is shown and back rent is paid. Disability Rights Nebraska supports LB 45. This bill is designated as Medium Priority on our Legislative Priorities Chart.

On February 6, LB230, a bill that restricts the use of room confinement for juveniles, passed. Disability Rights Nebraska wrote a letter in support of the bill.

LB 933, a bill that would change provisions related to the discontinuation of utility service, was amended into an omnibus natural resources bill that passed on August 13. Disability Rights Nebraska wrote a letter in support of LB 933.

On August 12, the Nebraska Legislature voted unanimously to make changes to a program that will help employed people with disabilities retain services and supports. Disability Rights Nebraska listed this as a high priority bill and worked with Sen. Crawford, Easterseals NE, and The Arc of Nebraska to bring LB323 to the legislature. We also wrote a letter to senators in support of the bill when it was on General File.

On Aug. 11, LB 918, a bill that creates a state Commission on African American Affairs, passed. Disability Rights Nebraska wrote a letter to senators in support of this bill.

On July 31, senators passed LB 944, a bill with several transportation measures. LB 976, a bill that Disability Rights Nebraska testified in support of, was amended into LB 944. LB 976 adds neurological impairment to the list of criteria eligible for handicap parking passes.

On July 31, the Legislature passed LB 44, which will create a bill of rights for victims of sexual assault. Disability Rights Nebraska submitted a letter to senators in support of LB44.

LB1188, a bill overhauling management and educational programming at Nebraska’s youth rehabilitation and training centers passed July 31. Disability Rights Nebraska wrote a letter supporting LB1149, which was amended into LB1188.

A bill that provides greater legislative oversight for the state’s youth rehabilitation centers passed July 31. Disability Rights Nebraska wrote a letter to senators in support of LB1144.

LB1140, introduced by the Health and Human Services Committee, outlines a series of requirements for the state’s YRTCs. The bill passed final reading on July 31, 2020. Disability Rights Nebraska wrote a letter in support of LB1140.

LB 147, a bill that would allow school staff to physically restrain students, failed a vote for cloture and is stalled this legislative session. Disability Rights Nebraska opposed LB 147.

LB 853 would provide greater protections against financial fraud for seniors and vulnerable adults. LB 853 was amended into an omnibus banking bill, LB909, which passed on July 21.

Disability Rights Nebraska wrote a letter in support of LB955, which proposed to change provisions related to eligibility for medical assistance. LB955 was amended into LB 956, which was adopted on August 4, 2020.

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.

The Natural Resources Committee heard testimony on LB 933, introduced by Sen. Crawford, on February 13. The bill, listed as "medium priority" as Disability Rights Nebraska, would change provisions relating to discontinuance of utility service. Sen. Crawford said the bill contains several “small but important shifts” in state law regarding utility shutoffs that would give those with serious medical challenges more flexibility. Disability will submit a letter to senators in support of LB 933. Read the Unicameral Update article for more information.

Testimony for LB 918, which would create the Commission on African Affairs and require a disparity study in government contracting, was heard by the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee on February 13, 2020. Disability Rights Nebraska listed LB 918 as a "medium priority" bill on the 2020 Legislative Agenda and will submit a letter to senators in support of the legislation. Read the Unicameral Update article to learn more about the bill.

On Feb. 5, the Health and Human Services Committee heard testimony on five bills focused on Nebraska youth rehabilitation and treatment centers. Three of the five bills - LB 1140, LB 1142, and LB 1145 - were selected as "medium priority" bills by Disability Rights Nebraska. LB 1140 would "provide requirements for youth rehabilitation and treatment centers." LB 1142 proposed to "provide for emergency plans at the youth rehabilitation and treatment centers." LB 1145 would "require the Dept. of Health and Human Services to develop and implement policies regarding use of mechanical restraints and transportation of juveniles." Disability Rights Nebraska will submit letters of support to Nebraska senators for each of the three bills. Visit the Unicameral Update website to learn more about the bills.

On January 29th, the Health and Human services committee considered LB 851, which would change provisions relating to eligibility for certain health care coverage under the Medical Assistance Act. Read the full article on the Unicameral Update website.

Sen. McCollister's LB 851 is designated as "medium priority" on Disability Rights Nebraska's 2020 Legislative Agenda, and we will submit a letter in support of the bill.

LB 998, introduced by Sen. Murman, would require Nebraska school districts to offer yearly behavioral awareness and intervention training to school employees, including teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, nurses, and counselors. Staff would be required to receive the training before 2024-25 and receive a review every three years.

LB 998 is a medium priority bill on Disability Rights Nebraska's Legislative Agenda, and we will submit a letter to senators supporting the bill.

On Jan. 28, Sen. Matt Williams proposed a bill to the Banking, Commerce, and Insurance Committee that would help protect vulnerable adults from financial fraud. Read the Unicameral Update article for more about LB 853.

LB 853 is on Disability Rights Nebraska's Legislative Agenda as a medium priority, and we will submit a letter in support of the bill.

Disability Rights Nebraska signed on to a press release with several other organizations concerned with LB 147. The concerns arise for a number of reasons, including the fact that proposed amendment AM 1803 could lead to an increase in the use of physical restraint. Considering students of color and students with disabilities are already disproportionately subjected to these practices, several individuals and groups are wary about where LB 147 might lead. Read the press release for more information.

Senators discussed LB 147, which would allow teachers and other school personnel to physically intervene with students. After three hours of debate, the bill's fate remained uncertain. Sen. Groene, who proposed the bill, will need to show Speaker Jim Scheer he has 33 votes, then will have to defeat a motion to essentially kill the bill. Public Policy Director Brad Meurrens was mentioned in this article, explaining why Disability Rights Nebraska opposes the bill.

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.

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