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Craighead focuses on the positive


Published May 22, 2015, in Senator Features

Years before her election to the Legislature, Joni Craighead was dispensing valuable advice in the form of her first book, “First Impressions: Tips to Enhance Your Image:” “Listen twice as much as you talk. When we listen, we learn.” This proves to be valuable advice for any new senator. The senator is a sixth generation…


Medical marijuana pilot study passed


Published May 22, 2015, in Judiciary

Medical marijuana will be available in Nebraska on a limited basis under a bill passed May 21. Introduced by Bellevue Sen. Sue Crawford, LB390 creates a pilot study at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) to allow access to low-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) oil for patients who suffer intractable or treatment-resistant seizures. The bill authorizes the…


Out-of-home juvenile placement measure passed


Published May 22, 2015, in Judiciary

Senators passed a bill May 21 concerning collection and management of information about juveniles in out-of-home care. Introduced by Lincoln Sen. Kathy Campbell, LB265 makes a number of changes relating to juveniles and child welfare, including: • establishing a pilot project to demonstrate how state agency data can be used by state offices to oversee…


Lawmakers pass inmate confinement reform


Published May 22, 2015, in Judiciary

Senators passed a bill May 21 that revises inmate confinement policies for Nebraska’s prisons. Introduced by Sen. Paul Schumacher of Columbus, LB598 requires the state Department of Correctional Services, beginning July 1, 2016, to use the least restrictive manner consistent with maintaining institutional order when separating inmates from the general prison population. The bill permits…


Correctional system reforms passed


Published May 21, 2015, in Judiciary

Lawmakers approved extensive revisions to Nebraska’s correctional system May 21. Introduced by Omaha Sen. Heath Mello, LB605 makes numerous changes to Nebraska’s penal system. The policy changes were recommended to the Nebraska Justice Reinvestment Working Group—created by LB907 in 2014—through a report provided by the Council of State Governments Justice Center. These changes include: •…


Medicaid payment for juvenile multisystemic therapy approved


Published May 21, 2015, in Health and Human Services

A bill that authorizes Medicaid reimbursement for a therapy used to assist troubled Nebraska youth passed May 21. LB500, sponsored by Omaha Sen. Sara Howard, would have directed the state Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to submit an application by July 1, 2015, to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for a…


Aging and disabled, Alzheimer’s bill passed


Published May 21, 2015, in Health and Human Services

A bill seeking to improve access to existing services and support for Nebraskans who are aging or disabled, including those suffering from Alzheimer’s and related illnesses, passed May 21. LB320, introduced by Lincoln Sen. Kate Bolz, establishes three demonstration projects for Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRC) to evaluate the feasibility of establishing such centers…


Omnibus alcohol bill passed


Published May 21, 2015, in General Affairs

A bill that makes numerous changes to the state Liquor Control Act passed May 21. LB330, sponsored by O’Neill Sen. Tyson Larson, makes a variety of updates to the act and the state Liquor Control Commission’s (LCC) regulatory authority. Among other changes, the bill prohibits the possession or sale of alcohol in powdered form in…


Family finding pilot project approved


Published May 21, 2015, in Health and Human Services

A bill that creates a pilot project to establish family connections for state wards was approved May 21. LB243, introduced by Lincoln Sen. Kate Bolz, creates a four-year statewide pilot program to provide family finding services in at least two service areas. The state Department of Health and Human Services will provide oversight and contract…


Child care funding guidelines approved


Published May 21, 2015, in Health and Human Services

Senators gave final approval May 21 to a bill that provides funding guidelines for child care grants. LB547, introduced by Lincoln Sen. Kathy Campbell, amends the Quality Child Care Act relating to federal Child Care and Development Block Fund Grants (CCDBG) and sets a funding schedule according to federal reauthorization amounts. The federal government previously…