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Lawmakers ready to exit Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Compact

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State lawmakers have moved closer to ending Nebraska’s participation in the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Compact, in three years. The Unicameral has given preliminary approval to LB 317, which would end participation in the compact working to bring high-speed passenger rail service to the Midwest. But not for three years. Supporters of the bill complain […]

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Lawmakers move to ban powered alcohol in Nebraska

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State lawmakers have moved to ban powered alcohol in Nebraska. A liquor control bill, amended to ban the sale of powered alcohol, has won preliminary approval on a 32-to-3 vote. Sen. Mark Kolterman of Seward succeeded in amending the bill to ban powered alcohol from being sold in the state. “It would be easy to […]

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Smokeless medical marijuana bill clears committee (AUDIO)

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A medical marijuana bill has cleared a committee and heads to the full legislature for debate, though it doesn’t look much like the bill that was introduced this session. Sen. Tommy Garrett of Bellevue still recognizes his bill, but. “It’s gone through some remarkable transformations,” Garrett tells Kevin Thomas, host of Drive Time Lincoln on […]

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Gov. Ricketts says some bills harm public safety (AUDIO)

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Gov. Pete Ricketts finds himself at odds with the legislature after a week in which the Unicameral passed a number of crime bills. Ricketts objects to some of the moves by the legislature last week, especially first-round approval of a bill to repeal the death penalty. “And we have to remember, we’re not Texas,” Ricketts […]

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Legislators begin debate on death penalty today (AUDIO)

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State lawmakers today begin debating whether to repeal the death penalty. Attorney General Doug Peterson understands news accounts of problems in other states, such as a botched lethal injection in Oklahoma, might well come into play as the Unicameral debates the bill. “So, it’s always been a national issue, although governed by state law, it’s […]

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Crime bill moves forward, compromise pending (AUDIO)

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A compromise is promised and a crime bill meant to ease prison overcrowding and reform sentencing laws has moved forward in the legislature. Debate on the merits of LB 605 began before the bill hit the floor of the Unicameral Tuesday afternoon. Attorney General Doug Peterson held a news conference in his Capitol office about […]

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Gas tax increase nearing passage in Unicameral (AUDIO)

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A six-cent increase in the state gas tax is on the verge of passing. State lawmakers have advanced to final round LB 610, a bill that would increase the state gas tax by six cents over four years, on a 27-14 vote. If that vote holds on final round, it wouldn’t be enough to overcome […]

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Sponsor of Medicaid expansion measure willing to try again (AUDIO)

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Even after defeat for three straight legislative sessions, the sponsor of the bill to expand Medicaid in Nebraska says she won’t give up. Sen. Kathy Campbell of Lincoln says she expected the battle to be tough and knew Gov. Pete Ricketts opposed expanding Medicaid. “I wasn’t surprised with Gov. Ricketts’ comments and his position, because […]

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Gov. Ricketts pleased Unicameral rejected Medicaid expansion (AUDIO)

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Gov. Pete Ricketts is pleased the Unicameral has rejected a measure to expand Medicaid. Ricketts is adamantly opposed to expanding Medicaid, casting doubt on the federal government’s promise to pay 90% of the cost and adding he doubts supporters could craft a bill he would sign. “I don’t know how you could come back with […]

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Gov. Ricketts opposes Medicaid expansion bill before Unicameral (AUDIO)

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Gov. Pete Ricketts renews his opposition to expanding Medicaid as the Unicameral prepares to debate the latest proposal. Ricketts rejects claims that expanding Medicaid would boost the state economy. Ricketts says lawmakers should concentrate on providing job training so the working poor can upgrade to jobs with health care and on funding community health care […]

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Questions about Unicameral priorities voiced during debate on zoo tax break

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State lawmakers have advanced a bill that would give zoos a tax break. But not before the Unicameral engaged in a bit of philosophical debate on taxes. Sen. Dan Hughes of Venango questioned the priorities of the Unicameral during debate on LB 419, which would give a state sales tax break to non-profit zoos and […]

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Rule used to stop prairie dog bill stirs controversy in Unicameral (AUDIO)

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An attempt to repeal a prairie dog control law passed in 2012 appears dead for the session, but the procedure used to kill it stirs controversy in the Unicameral. LB 128 passed two rounds of debate only to be derailed on final reading. The bill passed the first round 31-12, then passed the second round […]

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Effort to repeal Nebraska’s motorcycle helmet law can’t break filibuster

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Opponents of an effort to repeal the state mandatory motorcycle helmet law talked the bill to death. Supporters fell nine votes short of what they needed to end a filibuster in the Unicameral and force a vote on LB 31. The move effectively kills the legislation for the session. Sen. Ken Haar of Malcolm stated […]

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Abortion clinics would face new regulations under bill

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A bill to increase state regulations of abortion clinics draws emotional testimony at the Capitol. The Judiciary Committee has heard testimony on a bill that would require abortion clinics be defined as ambulatory surgical centers. Greg Schleppenbach with the Nebraska Catholic Conference says abortion clinics must be equipped for emergencies. “The real potential for life-threatening […]

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Winner-take-all bill fails to clear second filibuster

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A measure to return Nebraska to a winner-take-all presidential elector state barely cleared one filibuster, but couldn’t muster the votes to clear a second. LB 10 has been defeated for the session when supporters failed by two votes to end a filibuster mounted against it. Sen. Beau McCoy of Omaha, the bill’s sponsor, got the […]

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