Message from State Senator Fredrickson (LD 20)



Updates on Pending Legislation
April has seen several positive developments in our bills’ progress. LB 256, my Personal Priority bill, has since become law, and, in a recent turn of events, LB 222 has been advanced to Select File. Scroll further for more details on these bills.  

Additionally, LB 123 has been moved onto Final Reading – this will adopt the Behavior Analyst Practice Act, ensuring lifesaving care is accessible to those who need it.  

LB 314 would require firearm dealers to provide suicide prevention information and training, and has been placed in a Judiciary Committee package on General File.  

Moreover, LB 315 and LB 524 are currently on General File. LB 315 would prohibit healthcare providers from taking debt enforcement actions against survivors of assault and abuse. LB 524 would provide an income tax credit to restaurants, grocers, and food product producers for donating to food banks.  

Committee hearings for LB 179, LB 316, and LB 527 have been held, but they have not been moved out of committee. LB 179 would prohibit the use of clinical conversion therapy on people under 19 years old. LB 316 would revise the Nebraska marriage statutes to include gender neutral spousal language, and LB 527 would reimburse public school districts for mental health expenditures.  

I also introduced two Appropriations bills. LB 525 would direct state funds to the Department of Health and Human Services for rate increases for psychiatric diagnostic evaluations. This bill did not make it into the budget this year, but we will be working in the interim to secure new paths to funding.   LB 526 would direct state funds to the Department of Health and Human Services to use for Developmental Disability Aid, ensuring proper care for Nebraskans with developmental disabilities and their families. LB 526 did not make it into the budget, but $24 million in funding was still secured by working alongside the Governor’s office.

How Does Unicameral Debate Work?
Nebraska’s Unicameral debate process functions differently than other states – here are a few general rules to keep in mind:  
In order for a bill to become law it must pass through Committee with a vote or pull motion, and three rounds of floor debate. These rounds are known as General File, Select File, and Final Reading.  
General File is the first time the entire Legislature debates and votes on a bill. The bill’s introducer is given ten minutes for opening arguments. From there, other Senators may “punch in” to get in the queue to speak.  
Senators in the queue are given five minutes to speak, and may speak up to three times for each motion or amendment on a bill. A Senator may yield their time to a colleague or ask questions of other Senators.  
In most cases, 25 votes are needed to adopt amendments, proceed with motions, or advance a bill.  
If a bill advances from General File, it is automatically placed on Select File. If a bill passes Final Reading, it moves to the Governor for signing.  
General File debate can last up to eight hours. Select File debate can last up to four hours, and Final Reading debate can last two hours. If debate fills the time limit, a vote must be taken to cease debate. Known as cloture, 33 votes are needed to end debate and get to a vote on whether to advance the bill.   This process allows for proper and sufficient debate, so we can work out potential problems with bills.

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