A sense of urgency, national events and a rookie mistake impact the pending session

Nebraska lawmakers are expected to return to Lincoln July 20 to wrap up the final 17 days of the Coved-19 interrupted session.

One thing they must absolutely do is pass a budget. That would be do-able under normal circumstances, but what’s normal anymore? Not only has the pandemic changed things, but several killings of black people by police in other states has led to national protests.

The Legislature’s Judiciary Committee responded to weeks of protest in Omaha and Lincoln by holding listening sessions – 15 hours total – in both cities. Nearly 200 people complained about racial inequality in Nebraska and injustice by law enforcement and called for action.

Committee Chairman Sen. Steve Lathrop of Omaha said he was certain that the committee had been enlightened by the sessions. He noted that the deadline for introducing new bills has long since passed and it will be a challenge to decide what can be accomplished in the final 17 days.


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