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Nebraska legislature moves past 90 days in session

Posted: 03/20/13 09:14

The Nebraska Legislature has crossed the halfway point of its 90-day session. Lawmakers finished their 45th day on Tuesday. The session is currently scheduled to adjourn on June 5. Lawmakers are finishing the last of their bill hearings and transitioning to full-day legislative debate. The Legislature and Gov. Dave Heineman still have to approve a new, two-year state budget. Lawmakers are also considering changes to state tax law, social services and a possible expansion of Medicaid under the federal health care law.

A measure to expand Medicaid in Nebraska has been approved by a legislative committee and sent to the full legislature for debate.
Health and Human Services Committee Chairwoman Kathy Campbell understands she likely will need 30 of the 49 senators on board to overcome an expected veto by the governor. While Campbell says it makes fiscal sense for the state to expand Medicaid and receive additional federal dollars, the governor has adamantly opposed the move saying the state cannot afford it.

Nebraska lawmakers will get a chance this year to debate a death-penalty repeal measure. The Legislature's Judiciary Committee voted 7-0 on Tuesday to advance the bill for full debate. The bill was introduced by Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha, an outspoken opponent of capital punishment.