Should Nebraskans Have Access to Legal Medical Marijuana? A Discussion with Sen. Anna Wishart

In this episode of Go Vote, Omaha!, Geri Simon talks with Nebraska State Senator Anna Wishart of Lincoln (LD 27) about proposed legislation (LB 110) to legalize medical cannabis. LB 110 is Sen. Wishart’s priority bill for 2019.

Go Vote Omaha! is our locally produced informational television program. Watch Go Vote Omaha at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday nights on Cox channel 22 or CenturyLink channel 89 or anytime on YouTube.

2018 General Election Candidate Forum: Unicameral, Legislative District 8

The League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha held a moderated candidate forum for the candidates for Nebraska state senate/Unicameral in legislative district 8. The candidates are Mina Davis and Megan Hunt.

Find out more about the election in our Get Ready to Vote FAQ. You can watch all our candidate forums and see all of our 2018 elections info under “2018 ELECTIONS” on our home page. You can find out which Nebraska LD you live in by entering your address on the Nebraska Unicameral site.

The League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha is a nonpartisan organization that never supports or opposes any candidate for office or political party. LWVGO’s mission is to inform and empower voters.

2018 Candidate Forum: Unicameral, Legislative District 8

The League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha held a moderated candidate forum for the candidates for Nebraska state senate/Unicameral in district 8. The candidates are Mina Davis, Josh Henningsen and Megan Hunt. Following the May 15 primary election, the top two vote-getters of these three candidates will continue to the general-election ballot in November.

Find out more about the primary in our Get Ready to Vote FAQ and nonpartisan voters’ guide. You can watch all our candidate forums and see all of our 2018 elections info under “2018 ELECTIONS” on our home page.

The League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha is a nonpartisan organization that never supports or opposes any candidate for office or political party. LWVGO’s mission is to inform and empower voters.

Action Alert: Oppose the Unfair Election Laws LB 1115 and LB 1065

The following is a message from LWVNE President Sherry Miller and LWVNE Social Policy Director John Else to all members. We encourage non-members to participate in this call to action as well.

ACTION ALERT #1: LB 1115, REDUCING POPULATION COUNTS FOR REDISTRICTING

Dear Activists,

It appears that LB 1115 may be debated in the Unicameral this week, since it is on General File. It is Senator Murante’s priority bill. Please call your senator opposing this bill, since it can severely impact the fairness of redistricting in Nebraska. This is the intent of LB 1115, followed by the language of Article III, Section 5 to which it refers.

The following constitutes the reasons for this bill and the purposes which are sought to be accomplished thereby:

Article III, section 5 of the Nebraska Constitution states: “The basis of apportionment shall be the population excluding aliens, as shown by the next preceding federal census.”

LB 1115 would effectuate that policy by requiring the population basis for redistricting for legislative districts, Supreme Court districts, and all political subdivision districts the total population minus non-citizens.

III-5. Legislative districts; apportionment; redistricting, when required.
The Legislature shall by law determine the number of members to be elected and divide the state into legislative districts. In the creation of such districts, any county that contains population sufficient to entitle it to two or more members of the Legislature shall be divided into separate and distinct legislative districts, as nearly equal in population as may be and composed of contiguous and compact territory. One member of the Legislature shall be elected from each such district. The basis of apportionment shall be the population excluding aliens, as shown by the next preceding federal census. The Legislature shall redistrict the state after each federal decennial census. In any such redistricting, county lines shall be followed whenever practicable, but other established lines may be followed at the discretion of the Legislature.

Feel free to use any of the talking points listed below. Be sure to call as YOUR senator’s constituent. They will listen to constituents.

Thank you,

Sherry Miller, President, LWVNE; and John Else, Director of Social Policy

LB 1115 TALKING POINTS

*LB 1115 perpetuates an injustice begun in 1875 when Article III, Section 5 was adopted into the Constitution. The word “aliens” most likely referred to Native Americans or newly arrived immigrants from Europe. It was amended in 1920, probably also in reference to immigrants fleeing the aftermath of WWI.

*Nebraska Legislature obtains the count of “aliens” or “non-citizens” from the U.S. Census.

*It seems that redistricting in Nebraska is based only on citizens (or possibly voters}. Omitting non-citizens overlooks the fact that many of them pay taxes and are therefore taxed without representation.

*This is harmful to those immigrants who are awaiting legal status and are in every sense citizens in actuality except for the completion of application and the naturalization ceremony.

*LB 1115 would expand this limitation on population for redistricting purposes beyond legislative districts to all political subdivisions, not just legislative districts.

Urge your senator to vote NO on advancing LB 1115 to Select File. Let’s kill this thing and then look to getting the constitution amended in the future.

ACTION ALERT #2: LB 1065, REQUIRING POLL WORKERS TO MATCH VOTER IMAGES ON FILE, REDUCING NUMBER OF PEOPLE ABLE TO VOTE

Dear Activists,

Here we go again. LB 1065, introduced by Senator Murante, has advanced from the Government Committee to General File. I encourage you to contact your senator in opposition to this bill.

Its purported intent is to update poll site equipment, making it easier for poll workers to identify voters coming to vote. But part of it is simply an attempt to impose voter ID rules. Other attempts have failed ever since 2012. Besides mandating the use of electronic poll books (computers), the bill requires a digital image of each voter be part of the listing of the voter. This image would probably be provided by the DMV.

I am including talking points from my testimony (see below) against LB 1065 for your use when you contact your senator. REMEMBER, Contact your Senators as constituents and not as members of the league. Senators give a great deal of weight to hearing from their CONSTITUENTS.

Thank you for taking prompt action on this important attempt to suppress voter rights.

Sherry Miller, President
League of Women Voters of Nebraska

LB 1065 TALKING POINTS

TESTIMONY TO THE GOVERNMENT/MILITARY/VETERANS AFFAIRS COMMITTEE, FEBRUARY 14, 2018

First, County election offices across Nebraska need updated election equipment now. Implementing an electronic poll book system will take time and money, lots of money. While the electronic system may be an idea to contemplate for upgrading our election systems in the future, 2018 is a crucial midterm election year, which, it is hoped, will bring much renewed voter attention to the process, and 2020 even more so.

Secondly, voters deserve a measure of privacy. Furthermore, facial features can change from one election cycle to another through surgery, accidents, and plain old aging. How often would voters have to re-register to assure compatibility with a digital image? I agree it may be an unlikely scenario, but it could happen, and more than once.

Thirdly, in a time of income shortfall for our state government, why mandate a very expensive measure, costing $2.6 million for the first year and $451,000 for succeeding years.

Fourth, current election systems must be updated in a timely way to meet more immediate needs and not risk their failure while waiting for an electronic system to be put in place.

Please vote no to LB 1065.

Legislative Day A Success

About 20 League of Women Voters of Nebraska members gathered at the capital on Feb. 20 to discuss our priority bills with senators and to learn more about the legislative process.

The morning opened with remarks from State Sen. Sue Crawford and then members spoke with senators’ staffs as debate continued on the floor.

State Sen. Patty Pansing-Brooks later introduced the members to the body as they observed from the Unicameral viewing gallery. 

Following meetings with senators and debate observation, members ate lunch at the governor’s mansion and heard from State Sen. Burke Harr about redistricting.

Support LB 869, A Benefit to Juvenile Justice

The Leagues of Women Voters of Nebraska and Greater Omaha support LB 869, introduced by Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks. The bill would change provisions relating to sealing of juvenile records.

Read testimony in support of LB 869 from LWVNE president Sherry Miller and policy director John Else: Else_Miller Letter LB 869 020918.

 

Support Sex-Trafficking Victims through LB 1132

The Leagues of Women Voters of Nebraska and Greater Omaha support LB 1132, introduced by Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks. The bill would create a procedure to set aside convictions for victims of sex trafficking.

Read testimony in support of LB 1132 from LWVNE president Sherry Miller and policy director John Else: Miller_Else Letter LB 1132 020918.

 

The Need for Nonpartisan Redistricting in Nebraska – And How You Can Help

In this episode of Go Vote, Omaha!, Geri Simon talks with Nebraska state senator Burke Harr and League of Women Voters member John Else about redistricting. The Nebraska legislature will consider LB216 in 2018. LB 216 would establish a commission to redistrict the state after the 2020 census.

Go Vote Omaha! is our locally produced informational television program. Watch Go Vote Omaha at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday nights on Cox channel 22 or Centurylink channel 89 or anytime on YouTube.