Conflict likely next week, as Nebraska lawmakers consider gender and abortion measures, jointly
BEATRICE – Expect a serious floor fight next week in the Nebraska Legislature, when an abortion restriction bill that was considered dead for this session, resurfaces as an amendment to a controversial bill to ban gender affirming care.
LB 574….the so-called Let Them Grow Act, is on the Tuesday agenda for final reading….after lawmakers consider a committee priority bill dealing with sales and use tax exemptions.
Senator Myron Dorn, of Adams says the gender care bill is undergoing some change as a result of negotiations between some senators. "The 574 bill, there is an amendment. What it is, is nobody until 19 can have any type of surgeries, but it also grandfather's in anybody that is now on hormone care....and a third part of that bill is, it does leave it up to the state medical director with DHHS help. They're going to have a committee hearing and are then going to develop plans for going forward....as someone comes with these needs."
Added to the bill is an amendment that seeks to implement a ban on abortion, after 12 weeks of pregnancy. Earlier, LB 626 failed to advance….which would have enacted a 6 week restriction.
"It had 32 votes on cloture, but needed 33....and that did not pass. Speaker Arch and others said it would not come back, this year. As we look back, it does not come back as its own bill and go through the process again. But, what they have done now is they have also amended that in with the 574 amendment...and they've changed the six weeks, to twelve weeks."
Adding an amendment to a bill on final reading triggers two hours of debate, before a vote to send the amended bill to final reading. If that happens, the overall bill would then have additional discussion. One question is….should the two measures be part of the same bill?
"Are they like kind...or too far apart? It depends on what part of the story you read...the ones that brought the amendment forward definitely believe that they are.....they have medical aspects and the same type of subject matter. There are also others on the other aspect of this, that if it gets challenged in court, the first challenge will be on the fact that they are not alike....and that they can't be amended into each other."
Nebraska Lawmakers have a four-day break through Monday. The Nebraska Legislature is drawing close to the end of this year’s session. Tuesday will be the 78th day of this year’s 90-day session.