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May 2015 Archives

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Governor Ricketts set to Vote on Driver's License Bill

The Nebraska Legislature overwhelmingly passed a bill (LB623) which would end the state's ban on issuing driver's licenses to the children of undocumented immigrants by a 34-9 vote. The bill has now been sent to the desk of Governor Pete Ricketts for his signature. Although the governor has expressed his opposition to the bill, the Legislature appears to have the 30 votes needed to override a veto. According to the bill's sponsor, Senator Jeremy Nordquist, the bill would affect roughly 2,700 children brought to the U.S. by their parents. 

Licenses for Children of Undocumented Immigrants passes Barriers

Proponents of LB623 voted to break a filibuster on the bill on the 19 th by a 37 to 9 vote. The bill would put an end to Nebraska's ban on driver's licenses for children of undocumented immigrants and is currently opposed by Governor Pete Ricketts. The bill was challenged by some senators including Beau McCoy of Omaha who contended that driver's licenses could pave the way for children of undocumented immigrants, known as Dreamers from the DREAM Act, to vote illegally. The bill's sponsor, Senator Jeremy Nordquist argues these children deserve to be licenses given their almost life-long residency in the state and their participation in the workforce is "an economic plus for our state." 

Death Penalty Ban Looks to pass Legislature, Override Veto

The Nebraska state legislature passed a bill effectively banning the death penalty on Wednesday and did so by a wide enough margin to override any veto by the governor. LB268 was sponsored by Senator Ernie Chambers and was approved with a 32-15 majority which followed two hours of debate and a filibuster. While the governor claimed the death penalty retained "overwhelming support" in Nebraska, the bill would replace it with a life sentence instead. If Governor Pete Ricketts does veto the bill, 30 votes will be needed for an override. 

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