Friday is an important day for everyone that has experienced sexual violence. The Judiciary Committee will be hearing 5 bills aimed at helping survivors. So please get your letters in by Thursday at 5:00pm and most importantly, make sure any survivors in your life are supported. If you are a survivor, take care of yourself. Make your voice heard in whatever way is most safe and comfortable for you. Then do something you enjoy, talk to the people in your life that are most supportive. Do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself.
Friday’s Sexual Assault Bills:
LB 43, The Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights, was introduced by Senator Bolz. This is not the first time that she has brought this bill, but hopefully it will be the last. This bill outlines rights that survivors have while they interact (or choose not to interact) with medical professionals, law enforcement, and the courts. For example, a survivor has the right to a FREE forensic exam whether they decide to participate with the investigation and prosecution or not. They also have the right to be provided information regarding the results of their forensic exam and the status of their criminal case.
LB 249 introduced by Senator Howard will change the statute of limitations for civil actions arising from a sexual assault. If passed, survivors could being civil action against their perpetrator regardless of how long ago the attack was. Survivors would also not be required to file an official report and go through the criminal court process before they could take civil action.
LB 516 would require that reports of human trafficking of a minor, by a parent or non-parent, be treated by the Department of Health and Human Services the same as other reports of abuse and neglect. Currently, DHHS has a separate way of treating reports of trafficking.
LB 532 does a lot of work to clear up some of the problems with the current process of getting a domestic, harassment, or sexual assault protection order. It makes the process easier for both survivors that are filing for an order of protection and for the courts that handle them. It also requires that if a judge is going to dismiss a petition they hold a show cause hearing to hear from both the petitioner (the survivor or person applying for the order of protection) and the respondent (the person being filed against). There are several other pieces of this bill that aim to protect survivors that choose to file for an order of protection.
LB 680 is one of several bills trying to address “revenge porn” or the non-consensual sharing of intimate images. This one was introduced by Senator DeBoer and uses the affirmative consent standard for the sharing of images. DeBoer’s bill uses clear definitions.
There are many other important hearings this week. Starting with the Floor debate on Tuesday morning.
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
LB 399, Change the name and provisions related to the committee on Americanism has been unanimously voted out of the Education Committee with an amendment. AM 286 removes some of the borderline fascist language as well as includes the incorporation of multicultural education. This amendment also includes several options for students to demonstrate their knowledge of American Civics rather than being required to take the civics portion of the naturalization test used by United States
Citizenship and Immigration Services. The amendment adds Native American Heritage Day to the list of holidays required to be recognized in school along with George Washington’s birthday, Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, Constitution Day, Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, and others.
If you want to make your voice heard on LB 399, call YOUR senator to let them know how you feel. If you don’t know who your senator is, you can find out here.
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
LB 548 was introduced by Senator Howard. This legislation would outlaw restraining your pet outside during a natural or man-made disaster or other severe weather events.
LB 659 would remove cannabidiol from the list of controlled substances. This was introduced by Senator Wayne.
Thursday, February 21, 2019
Health and Human Services:
LB 423 would eliminate certain provisions in order to allow school-based health centers to provide the same services as other healthcare centers. This means students would have access to contraceptives and other preventative care and could serve as a student’s medical home.
LB 533 was brought by Senator Cavanaugh and would bring Nebraska’s marriage laws up to date by changing terminology to be gender neutral and more inclusive.