Senator Brewer’s Weekly Update


Senator Tom Brewer

By Senator Tom Brewer

This week in the Legislature was a productive one for my office. We advanced several important bills of mine relating to school security, elections, veterans, and public transparency. One that I am particularly proud of was the LB 43 committee priority bill package that we sent to the governor’s desk.

Legislative Bill 43 was originally introduced by Senator Rita Sanders, my Government Committee vice-chair. The bill that Senator Sanders introduced would make clear that judges and not bureaucratic agencies are the proper ones to determine what a law or a regulation means, and that agencies do not get to put their thumb on the scale in disputes with Nebraskans.

I decided that LB 43 would be a good vehicle for several other bills we had in committee. Senator Sanders had another bill, LB 297, that would protect charitable donors from government agency overreach. Senator Ben Hansen had LB 41 that provides similar protections for charitable organizations. Both of those seemed like a good fit in a package about protecting liberty from government, so we put them in.

Next, we included my LB 277, the First Freedom Act. This bill is about stopping government from interfering with religious liberties. Whether it is feeding homeless people in a public park, distributing religious literature, or wearing an eagle feather, passage of the provisions of LB 277 means that Nebraska will join at least twenty-three other states that have put similar protections for religious conscience into effect at the state level. The Nebraska Family Alliance called it “the most significant religious freedom bill to pass through the legislature in decades.”

Finally, we made some changes to Nebraska’s public records laws. We included some measures from Senator Danielle Conrad’s LB 366, to give concerned citizens better access to public records. We also included Senator Mike McDonnell’s LB 650 to make sure that we are not divulging sensitive information about our cybersecurity measures at the state and local levels.

When you run for a leadership position within the Legislature, those extra responsibilities mean carrying a heavier workload. But I am deeply honored to serve Nebraskans as chair of the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee. Passing bills like LB 43 that protect constitutional rights and make government more transparent make the long grind worth the effort.

Please contact my office with any comments, questions, or concerns. Email me at, mail a letter to Sen. Tom Brewer, Room #1423, P.O. Box 94604, Lincoln, NE 68509, or call us at (402) 471-2628.