Human trafficking penalties, drug overdose immunity and voting rights for ex-felons were all topics of debate in the Nebraska Legislature, as senators advanced bills relating to each.Addressing human trafficking, LB 289 would impose stronger penalties for those crimes.
Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks of Lincoln sponsored the bill.
An amendment to the bill, adopted 41-0, incorporated provisions of four other bills related to sexual assault and domestic violence.
The amended bill would allow victims of sexual assault to file for civil protection orders against their assailants and prevent gaps in protection for victims of domestic abuse by allowing them to file for renewal of protection orders up to 30 days before the existing order expires.
These provisions were originally included in LB 178, sponsored by Sen Kate Bolz of Lincoln, and LB 191, sponsored by Pansing Brooks, respectively.
Provisions of LB 188, sponsored by Sen. Sara Howard of Omaha, and LB 394, sponsored by Sen. Adam Morfeld of Lincoln, were also included.
The first would allow victims of sexual assault to seek termination of parental rights of their attackers in cases where a child is conceived as a result of sexual assault.
The second would prohibit people under a domestic violence protection order from possessing a deadly weapon.
Senators voted 42-0 to advance LB 289 to select file.
Other bills advanced in the Legislature this week include:
• LB 487, sponsored by Morfeld, which would provide legal immunity to people seeking medical assistance for a drug overdose. The bill mirrors a 2014 Good Samaritan law that provided similar immunity to a person experiencing or witnessing a possible alcohol overdose.
• LB 75, sponsored by Sen. Justin Wayne of Omaha, which would eliminate a two-year waiting period and restore voting rights to ex-felons upon completion of their sentence or probation.
• LB 639, sponsored by Sen. Bruce Bostelman of Brainard, which aims to help military families become established in Nebraska by giving preference to active duty service members seeking state jobs.