Nebraska Legislative Session 2019 Update
The 2019 Nebraska Legislative Session is in full swing. As of this writing, 47 days of 90 days of the session have been completed. We wanted to provide you an update on what the Nebraska Sportsmen’s Foundation has been doing during the first 47 days. In addition, we wanted to provide you some key dates for the session.
To this point, the 2019 Nebraska Legislative Session has provided a great deal of filibusters and extended floor debate. This has been on a wide variety of social issues. These types of issues have certainly grown in number compared in years past. Consequently, we can see the change in the direction of the Unicameral to a more left leaning body. Several factors can be pointed to as how this happened. One of which is the effect of term limits. It has opened the door to new Senators with a broader base of thoughts and opinions. As a result, a void has been left in the instructional knowledge and history of the where and how of our Unicameral.
These very facts are why the NSF chose to play middle ground this session. In fact, we wanted to gauge how the body would work and what direction they would move. Hence, we have learned a great deal about the new senators this session. Undoubtedly this will help the NSF going forward in our efforts to continue our work on your behalf.
Key Dates to Remember
Here are some important dates to take note of for the second half of the 2019 Nebraska Legislative Session:
- March 19th – All priority bills had to be identified. The great news is that none of the bills we are fighting this session were prioritized.
- March 28th – Introduced bills must have a public hearing. This is the last day for these public hearings. After this date we will know which bills will for sure stay in committees.
- April 2nd – Full day sessions begin.
- June 6th – Last scheduled day of the session. (could end prior)
This session the NSF is working on eighteen bills. Of these there are eight we support, eight we oppose and two we are neutral on. We have testified on ten bills for the official record. In addition, we have worked on two amendments with Senators to improve bills; LB 127 & LB 287. Not to mention we have spent many hours working the bills one on one with senators. As of today, only LB 127 has passed. Initially we opposed this bill. However, with our proposed amendments to the bill being made we fully supported it.
The remaining 17 bills are in various stages of the process. Two key bills that the NSF took strong opposition with are still in committee as of now. Of course, we are very confident they will not come out of committee which means they are dead this session.
Proposed Bill Would Give Landowners Their Own Week of Deer Rifle Hunting
The first is LB 126 which allows qualifying landowners to receive up to four free firearm deer hunting permits. It also allows them to be used during the seven days immediately preceding the beginning of firearm deer hunting season. The landowner must consent to make fifty percent of more of his/her land available for public deer hunting during the firearm deer hunting season. Thanks to the support of our membership, partners and sponsor; LB 126 will not make it to the floor. We asked for your voice to be heard and it was! With over 100 letters submitted for the record against the bill. In addition, over 50 phone calls a day for three days straight and 25 a day for the next two days to the introducing Senators office. Your voice was heard. Great job!
Second is LB 58 which adopts the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act. The purpose is to allow a court to intervene in extreme cases where a person has demonstrated that they are a danger to themselves or others, have access to a firearm and have made threats of violence. The hearing went 7 1/2 hours due to the number of our members and partners members that made their voices heard.
The NSF will keep you posted on how the session ends and how you – the Sportsmen and women of Nebraska – fared this session. And we hope all of you take time to do some spring turkey hunting!
Nebraska Sportsmen’s Foundation
1327 H street Suite 103
Lincoln, Ne 68508