Unicameral Wasting Little Time In Sending Bills To Governor

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – The Nebraska Legislature is making up for lost time after being in recess for almost 4 months because of the coronavirus pandemic and took final action on a number of bills on Tuesday.

A measure prohibiting Nebraska health care providers from charging patients higher, out-of-network rates for emergency services was sent to the governor this morning on a 47-0 vote.

Senator Adam Morfeld of Lincoln introduced the bill to try to protect consumers from unexpected costs incurred when a medical emergency requires them to use a doctor or specialist not part of their regular coverage without being able to get prior approval.

Morfeld argued that unexpected medical bills are a leading cause of personal bankruptcies.

Also getting final approval, but on a 37-6 vote, was a bill allowing college athletes in Nebraska to sign endorsement deals with sneaker companies, car dealerships and other sponsors without NCAA or conference penalties.

It applies to student-athletes at all branches of the University of Nebraska as well as Chadron State, Wayne State, and Peru State.

It covers athletes in all sports, although Husker football, basketball and volleyball players are likely to have the most money-making opportunities. Student athletes wouldn’t get salaries but couldn’t be punished for signing with an outside sponsor.