Budget Adjustments Among Bills Getting Final OK Friday

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Legislature gave final approval Friday without further debate to a number of bills, including a $100-million dollar adjustment to the state budget approved last year.

The biggest change to the budget was giving another $55-million dollars to NEMA, the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, to help pay for damage from last year’s flooding.

Also getting final approval were bills requiring a plan for the future of the state’s Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Centers, adding vaping to the state ban on indoor smoking in public places, and exempting from legal penalties anyone who breaks into a locked car to rescue a child.

A sexual assault survivors’ bill of rights with the right to have an advocate present during examinations and interviews was sent to the governor, as was a requirement that school districts adopt policies to prevent teachers from “grooming students for sexual contact.

A bill aimed at the tiny eastern Nebraska town of Winslow that allows municipalities damaged by catastrophic flooding to annex land not on the municipal borders was sent to the governor. Winslow leaders have been looking at moving the town to a higher site a few miles away.

Senator Ernie Chamber’s bill requiring two hours a year of anti-bias and implicit-bias training for law enforcement officers also received final approval, which led Speaker Jim Scheer to take a quick break from the schedule to mark the event.

Chambers, the longest-serving lawmaker in state history at 46 years, is being forced out by term limits for the second time and Scheer said as the bill was likely his last to will be voted on by the Unicameral, he wanted to congratulate Chambers for his career and thank him for his service to the state.