Spring, is definitely here and the Unicameral has wrapped up the 101st Legislature. Much was done this year and I would like to use the next three Letters Back Home to highlight what was accomplished this session. This week I would like to discuss LB 817, LB 594, and LB 1103.
The Legislature passed 43-0 Legislative Bill 817, introduced by Sen. Rogert, which exempts concealed carry permit holders from needing a certificate to purchase a handgun. The Governor signed the bill on April 13, and the bill will be effective 90 days from the end of session.
The bill also included several other provisions, one being my LB 1033, which makes it clear that the City of Omaha cannot enforce their registration ordinance against concealed carry permit holders.
The last two bills I wanted to touch on, which I strongly supported, have received a lot of press, even in the national media. However, I thought because they both dealt with the abortion issue it was important enough to mention again in case you had missed the news.
Last Monday, LB 594, which requires abortion providers to screen for risk factors on women seeking abortions, passed 40-9.
The purpose of the bill introduced by Sen. Dierks was to make sure women are fully informed on the current documented risks of having an abortion, so they can make an informed decision. Whether the risk is physical, mental, or any other known risk, women deserve to be treated as they would for any other major medical procedure. In addition, the bill allows women a civil cause of action if the law is violated. The Governor signed LB 594 on April 13.
The Governor also signed LB 1103 April 13. The Legislature passed the bill with a 44-5 vote, showing great unity behind the idea that the State of Nebraska has a very important interest in preventing pain in unborn children. Therefore, preventing abortions on unborn children 20 weeks or older, because we now know that pain is felt at this stage in human development, is the right thing to do under the current restraints of federal court opinions.
I believe both these bills will save babies and help reduce abortions in the long run, until Roe vs. Wade is overturned.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding these bills or any issue please call my office at 402-471-2805 or for more information you can view my legislative website at http://news.legislature.ne.gov/dist44/.