Nebraska hides legislature debate progress as filibuster continues
LINCOLN, Nebraska (Nebraska) — State Senators continued their work in the Nebraska State Capitol, pushing for bills to become law despite one legislator promising to delay using rules.
“I’m here to take time, time, time.”
State Senator Machaela Cavanaugh of Omaha reminded her colleagues on Thursday that she plans to stonewall everything. She has been critical of Republican majorities and what she calls their anti-LGBTQ+ bills.
“They keep asking me what I do. What am I doing? I slow things down,” she said.
Democrats from Omaha estimate that only 32 days remain before the end of the session, and about 40 bills will have time to pass – out of more than 800 submitted.
Meanwhile, the debate on the 2nd Amendment moved from Wednesday to Thursday. The bill would allow anyone who can legally obtain a weapon to hide it in public without a permit or an 8-hour safety training course.
“It would require the individual to immediately notify law enforcement upon contact, and that would also include emergency responders,” said State Senator Tom Brewer of Gordon.
“I think too often we get bogged down in what’s on the left, on the right, and which side you’re on,” said State Senator George Dungan of Lincoln. “I think it’s good to acknowledge that it’s difficult.”
The bill met with opposition from Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert and Omaha Police Chief Schmaderer, arguing that it takes away local control and makes it harder for officers to do their jobs.
“I cannot stand here knowing that the United States has a unique problem of children dying from gunshots, and we continue to support legislation that will only exacerbate the problem,” said Omaha Senator Jan Day.
“A police officer testified last year on this same bill that they are using it to drug kids,” said Omaha State Senator Justin Wayne. “They don’t talk about drugging kids in Bennington or western Nebraska. They’re talking about drugging minority kids in Omaha.”
“As far as I understand, the 2nd Amendment is the only amendment to the Constitution that says you have to pay for training – you have to pay for training. No other freedom we have includes these two things,” said State Senator Ben Hansen of Blair.
The bill, now in its final stages, requires three rounds of debate in the unicameral parliament before a vote.
The Speaker of the Legislature, State Senator John Arch, forced lawmakers to work during their regular lunch break to accommodate more debate.
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