Zach Wendling

Zach Wendling

Zach rejoins the Nebraska Examiner after studying abroad in Antigua, Guatemala, following a yearlong Examiner internship. His coverage focus areas have included politics and government, health and well-being and higher education.

Carol Blood explains a resolution to the Executive Board

Supporters of child labor resolution say it could make Nebraska ‘new champion’

By: - March 3, 2023

LINCOLN — Supporters of a U.S. constitutional amendment related to child labor said Friday it could make Nebraska a “new champion” in the anti-child labor movement. Legislative Resolution 5, proposed by State Sen. Carol Blood of Bellevue, would have Nebraska ratify the Child Labor Amendment of 1924. This would amend the Constitution and specify that […]

Suzanne Geist introduces legislation before a legislative committee

Nebraska lawmaker proposes expanding NEST 529 plans to K-12 private education

By: - March 2, 2023

LINCOLN — State Sen. Suzanne Geist of Lincoln said she realized last year she could not use an educational savings plan to support her grandchildren’s private K-12 tuition costs. Congress approved an expansion in 2018 for NEST 529 plans under the College Savings Plan Program, but Nebraska is one of 10 states that lag in […]

Megan Hunt introduces legislation in the Judiciary Committee

Nebraska lawmaker continues push for LGBTQ nondiscrimination employment policy

By: - March 1, 2023

LINCOLN — Jayden Speed, an 18-year-old high school student, said he is counting down the days to graduation while calculating whether Nebraska is the state to stay in. As a queer young person, Speed said, he loves Nebraska, its communities and the Legislature, and Wesleyan University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Creighton University have offered […]

Trans rights advocates hold signs that say "Stop attacks on trans youth," "trans rights are human rights" and "trans Nebraskans belong" at a protest in the Nebraska State Capitol

LGBTQ protections at crossroads in Nebraska Legislature

By: - March 1, 2023

LINCOLN — The Nebraska Legislature stands at a crossroads in 2023 regarding LGBTQ Nebraskans, with critical bills that could expand or limit protections. This session’s proposals include restrictions on what bathrooms transgender youths could use and which athletic teams they could participate in. Other bills could expand nondiscrimination policies to include gender identity or sexual […]

Ben Hansen speaks at a legislative hearing

Nebraska lawmakers weigh proposal to use state funds for private school enrollment

By: - February 28, 2023

LINCOLN — A Nebraska lawmaker encouraged a legislative committee Tuesday to allow students to use state funds toward private schools if they are denied a school district transfer. Legislative Bill 528, proposed by State Sen. Ben Hansen of Blair, would create the Nebraska Option Enrollment Tuition Account Program. Option enrollment is when students seek to […]

Tax credits proposed for private Nebraska pregnancy center donations

By: - February 24, 2023

LINCOLN — As Nebraska state senators prepare for debate regarding abortion, one lawmaker presented a proposal Friday that aims to provide tax credits to private pregnancy help centers. Legislative Bill 606, proposed by State Sen. Joni Albrecht of Thurston, would establish the Nebraska Pregnancy Help Act and offer tax credits to incentivize private donations to […]

People gather outside the Nebraska State Capitol's south entrance holding two Ukrainian flags in support of the country

Nebraskans reflect on support for Ukraine one year after Russian invasion

By: - February 24, 2023

LINCOLN — Nurse Kathleen “Nene” DeRoos-Nolan watches a live feed on a Telegram channel of a Ukrainian soldier trudging along in the snow and later sleeping in a place that isn’t heated. It’s a sight different from the refugees she saw in person at a camp in Warsaw during the past year, where she provided […]

Steve Halloran speaks at an Agriculture Committee hearing

Nebraska committee considers harmonizing hemp regulation

By: - February 21, 2023

LINCOLN — A legislative committee Tuesday considered proposals to harmonize Nebraska’s hemp regulation with federal standards and terminate the Nebraska Hemp Commission. Legislative Bill 263, introduced by the Agriculture Committee at the request of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, would amend the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act to align with the federal 2018 Farm Bill in […]


Hard feelings aired by citizens denied the opportunity to testify in Nebraska Legislature

By: and - February 21, 2023

LINCOLN — Citizens crammed the meeting rooms and hallways of the State Capitol recently to testify on hot-button issues pertaining to guns, public funding for private schools, abortion and LGBTQ rights. At least a dozen people, who had waited up to six hours for a turn to speak, were denied the opportunity because legislative committee […]

Willa Cather throughout her life

Willa Cather’s 150 years to be celebrated throughout 2023

By: - February 18, 2023

LINCOLN — Acclaimed Nebraska novelist Willa Cather, who would have marked her 150th birthday in 2023, will be celebrated throughout the year with a series of events. The National Willa Cather Center will host events locally and nationally for Cather’s 150th birthday and also the 100th anniversaries of her Pulitzer Prize for “One of Ours” and […]

The Center for Rural Affairs office in Lyons, Nebraska

Center for Rural Affairs honors handful of Nebraska advocates

By: - February 17, 2023

LINCOLN — The Center for Rural Affairs is honoring a handful of Nebraskans for their work in advocating for rural affairs. The center, based in Lyons, Nebraska, announced it is giving awards to four Nebraskans in its 50th year, with additional honorees from Kansas and South Dakota. The private nonprofit’s mission is to strengthen small […]

Kathleen Kauth introduces a bill before a hearing

Lawmakers weigh whether to restrict local health directors’ authority over public health measures

By: - February 15, 2023

LINCOLN — COVID-19 placed an immense strain on hospitals and the medical field with thousands of cases and deaths in the nearly three years of the pandemic in Nebraska. Public health directors as well as state and local governments issued directed health measures to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, action that helped “save” local hospitals […]