Craft beer, prison pipelines and recall elections — March legislature update

by Triumph staff.

The Triumph is making public life easier and keeping tabs on the legislature so you don’t have to. Here are updates on what we’ve found most important.

Recent News

  • LB 57 – Unicameral unanimously voted in favor of Senator Adam Morfeld’s bill to allow Airbnb and other short-term rental companies into the state, preempting any city-level attempts to ban the companies. Opponents claim Airbnb contributed to gentrification by encouraging property owners to convert existing units into highly profitable short term rentals.
  • LB 498 – Family planning could be covered under Medicaid if a bill proposed by Sen. Anna Wishart passes. The bill would expand services like cancer screening, UTI and STI treatment, vaccinations and long-acting contraception to those on Medicaid. The bill is currently in committee.
  • LB 589 – Cops could no longer be stationed at schools. Sen. Ernie Chambers introduced a bill that would remove officers from regular duty at schools, saying “it is counterproductive to the purpose and goals of education” to have cops criminalizing behavior previously handled by school administration.
  • Supporters claim police in schools have created a “school-to-prison pipeline” that targets young people of oppressed nations.

The Hastings police chief opposed the bill, citing “recent tragic events” in schools across the country. The bill is still in committee.

Candidates, presumably
  • LB 415 – Sen. Curt Freisen wants to prohibit recall petitions in the state. Recalls are rarely used and often unsuccessful, but they are one of the only ways voters can remove an elected official from office early. The senator claims the possibility of recalls is scaring candidates away from running. No one testified in favor of the bill.
  • LB 235 – Home brews could be returning to craft beer festivals. Sen. Sue Crawford’s bill to once again allow homebrewers to showcase their drinks advanced to select file and will likely be approved. The state liquor commission originally prevented the practice in 2016.

Legislature Updates
Bills on the General File (to be voted on)

  • LB400 – Raise gratuity minimum wage.

Bills with a committee hearing in March

  • LB 176 – Eliminate some mandatory minimum sentencing.
  • LB 83 – Restore felon voting rights immediately.
  • LB 435 – Prohibit landlord retaliation against tenants.

Bills on hold in committee (unlikely to be voted on)

  • LB85 – State inspections of residential rentals in Omaha and
    Lincoln. On hold to give cities a chance to figure it out themselves.
  • LB50 – Raise taxes on the rich.
  • LB383 – Index minimum wage to inflation.
  • LB 167 – Prohibit conversion therapy.
  • LB 110 – Legalize medical marijuana.

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