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.

Nebraska Examiner is part of States Newsroom, the nation’s largest state-focused nonprofit news organization.

Bacon, Salinas introduce legislation to crack down on animal fighting

By: - April 21, 2023

LINCOLN — U.S. Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., has introduced bipartisan legislation to crack down on animal fighting and strengthen animal protections. Bacon, along with Rep. Andrea Salinas, D-Ore, introduced the Fight Inhumane Gambling and High-Risk Animal Trafficking (FIGHT) Act on Wednesday. The act would amend Section 26 of the Animal Welfare Act to enhance legal […]

Floor of the Nebraska Legislature

Nebraska proposal to prioritize resources in times of emergency advances in Business, Labor package

By: - April 20, 2023

LINCOLN — Nebraska lawmakers advanced a package of legislation Thursday from the Business and Labor Committee, including one bill on resource allocation in times of emergency. Legislators voted 45-0 to create and advance a package of seven bills, including Legislative Bill 267, proposed by State Sen. Tom Brewer of Gordon. LB 267 and six other […]

Woman who shouted ‘shame’ following critical gun bill passage is banned from Nebraska Capitol

By: - April 19, 2023

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include comments from the Nebraska State Patrol. LINCOLN — A woman who protested the approval of “constitutional carry” in the state will no longer be allowed in the Nebraska State Capitol or its grounds, except in select circumstances. Melody Vaccaro, executive director of Nebraskans Against Gun Violence, […]

Nebraska lawmakers advance proposal for video archive of legislative proceedings

By: - April 17, 2023

LINCOLN — Lawmakers gave first-round approval Monday to a proposal that would create a video archive of Nebraska legislative proceedings, an effort that has spanned multiple years. Legislative Bill 254, proposed by State Sen. Tom Brewer of Gordon, would create this archive, bringing Nebraska to the same level of access to legislative proceedings as nearly every […]

Nebraska lawmakers narrowly advance trans health care bill after internal chaos

By: - April 13, 2023

LINCOLN — Chaos erupted on the floor of the Nebraska Legislature on Thursday after a last-minute effort to consider an “olive branch” amendment on a bill to restrict some gender-affirming care for minors. Legislative Bill 574, proposed by State Sen. Kathleen Kauth of Omaha, would restrict puberty blockers, hormone therapies and genital or non-genital surgeries […]

Some Nebraska doctors fear ‘collateral damage’ from proposed near-total abortion ban

By: - April 12, 2023

LINCOLN — As debate begins on a Nebraska proposal to ban nearly all abortions in the state, some medical professionals are worried about how exceptions in the law would be utilized. Legislative Bill 626, proposed by State Sen. Joni Albrecht of Thurston, would outlaw abortions at around six weeks when cardiac activity can be detected. […]

Success of Nebraska proposal to restrict gender-affirming care might hinge upon amendment

By: - April 10, 2023

LINCOLN — A potential second round of debate on a proposal to restrict some gender-affirming procedures in Nebraska will likely depend on the success of an amendment to narrow the bill. Legislative Bill 574, proposed by State Sen. Kathleen Kauth of Omaha, would prohibit puberty blockers, hormone therapies and genital or non-genital surgeries for minors. […]

Nebraska proposal to require school dress code advances after being amended into separate bill

By: - April 5, 2023

LINCOLN — A proposal to require all Nebraska school districts to adopt a written dress code and grooming policy is just one stage away from becoming law. This time last week, the bill’s sponsor, State Sen. Terrell McKinney of Omaha, voiced concerns about whether Legislative Bill 630 would  be scheduled for debate this year. But lawmakers […]

Senators advance governor’s school-aid bill after rejecting amendments

By: and - April 4, 2023

LINCOLN — State lawmakers gave first-round approval to Gov. Jim Pillen’s school-aid proposal Tuesday after rejecting attempts to amend a key part of “the package.” Legislative Bill 583 advanced on a 39-3 vote but only after overcoming an eight-hour filibuster and rejecting amendments to adjust state aid distributions and require universal free lunch in Nebraska […]

Debate begins on proposal to restructure Nebraska public school funding formula

By: - April 3, 2023

LINCOLN — Debate began Monday on a legislative proposal to restructure Nebraska’s public school funding formula, a promise Gov. Jim Pillen made on the campaign trail. Legislative Bill 583, proposed by State Sen. Rita Sanders of Bellevue at Pillen’s request, is part of a package of legislation to address school funding and property taxes. The changes […]

Nebraska lawmakers form political action committee to fight anti-LGBTQ legislation nationwide

By: - April 3, 2023

LINCOLN — Three Nebraska lawmakers announced Monday they are forming a political action committee to fight anti-LGBTQ legislation in Nebraska but also nationwide. State Sens. Machaela Cavanaugh, Megan Hunt and John Fredrickson, all of Omaha, announced the Don’t Legislate Hate PAC, which will support legislators fighting against more than 400 anti-LGBTQ laws being considered nationwide. Cavanaugh […]

Hundreds observe ‘Trans Day of Visibility’ at Nebraska State Capitol, decry proposed legislation

By: - March 31, 2023

LINCOLN — Hundreds journeyed to the Nebraska State Capitol on Friday evening for “Trans Day of Visibility,” calling on the Legislature to reject key legislation in its 2023 session. The international day of observance began in 2009 and has continued since, bringing awareness and visibility to transgender people. Isabella Manhart, who is nonbinary and whose 10-year-old […]