Government & Politics

Inspector generals

State watchdogs say they’re still doing their job, albeit slower, since legal opinion

BY: - September 27, 2023

OMAHA — Members of a North Omaha racial justice group expressed fears Wednesday night that a recent, adverse legal opinion may be shutting off a vital resource for addressing problems in state agencies. If state “inspectors general” for corrections and child welfare can’t get access to what’s going on, how can they report on concerns […]

megan hunt

Judge dismisses defamation lawsuit against far right group that accused state senator of being a ‘groomer’

BY: - September 27, 2023

LINCOLN — State Sen. Megan Hunt of Omaha said she is reviewing her options after a judge dismissed a defamation lawsuit against a far-right group that had accused her of abusing and sexually grooming her son. “No mother, regardless of whether they are an elected official or not, should be accused of abusing their children […]

Larry Bare

State government stalwart, Larry Bare, remembered for vast knowledge, no nonsense advice

BY: - September 27, 2023

LINCOLN — Larry Bare was likely the most powerful state official you’ve never heard of. That’s despite working a state-record 16 years as the chief of staff for two governors, heading up State Capitol offices and agencies, and working under seven different governors — all over five decades of public service. Bare’s style was low […]

Active-duty military would work without pay in shutdown, White House warns

BY: - September 27, 2023

WASHINGTON — The White House is warning that a partial government shutdown would mean 1.3 million active-duty armed services members must keep working without receiving paychecks and hundreds of thousands of Pentagon employees would face furloughs. The Biden administration on Tuesday blasted what it’s now calling an “Extreme Republican Shutdown,” saying it would undermine national […]

Biden vetoes bill that would remove lesser prairie chicken protections

BY: - September 27, 2023

U.S. President Joe Biden vetoed legislation meant to undermine federal protections for the lesser prairie chicken, a previously ubiquitous bird that is now endangered in several states. The legislation, introduced by U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kansas, and co-sponsored by fellow Kansas Republican Sen. Jerry Moran and four other senators, sought to undo a listing by […]

Menendez to address U.S. Senate Democrats Thursday about his indictment

BY: - September 27, 2023

WASHINGTON — New Jersey U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez will address his Democratic colleagues in a closed-door meeting Thursday amid growing calls for him to resign following a federal indictment. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Wednesday that he was “deeply disappointed, disturbed” after reading the indictment, which charged Menendez with conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy […]

Nebraska advocates say ‘Women’s Bill of Rights’ does not focus on needed priorities

BY: - September 27, 2023

LINCOLN — Two of the state’s largest women’s rights groups say a new “Women’s Bill of Rights” misses the mark when seeking to support Nebraska women. Gov. Jim Pillen on Aug. 30 signed the executive order, which defines “male” and “female” for the state’s executive branch and varying agencies, boards and commissions based on the development […]

Man smoking marijuana

Senators renew plea for ‘streamlined’ process for pardoning nonviolent marijuana convictions

BY: - September 27, 2023

LINCOLN — A trio of state senators renewed their call Tuesday for the State Board of Pardons to adopt a “streamlined” process for people to be forgiven for minor marijuana convictions that do not involve violence. In a letter, State Sens. Danielle Conrad of Lincoln, and Terrell McKinney and Justin Wayne, both of Omaha, said […]

U.S. Senate moves on short-term spending bill in struggle to avoid shutdown days away

BY: - September 26, 2023

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate is on track to clear a short-term government funding bill in the days ahead, but it wasn’t clear Tuesday if that would happen before the Saturday midnight deadline to avert a shutdown, or if House GOP leaders would put the bill up for a vote in that chamber. U.S. House […]

Nebraska lawmaker considers legislation for advanced fire alarms meant to save lives

BY: - September 26, 2023

LINCOLN — A Nebraska lawmaker is looking to potentially require more advanced fire alarms in residential homes that he said Tuesday could save lives.  State Sen. Mike McDonnell of Omaha introduced Legislative Resolution 239 to examine the feasibility and benefits of requiring wireless interconnected fire alarms in residential dwellings, similar to a Norfolk, Nebraska, ordinance. The […]

How a looming government shutdown could hit national parks

BY: - September 26, 2023

National parks and nearby communities could forego millions of dollars per day during a partial government shutdown that could start this weekend. Would-be visitors will likely see restrictions on park access, though the extent of those restrictions was still unclear just days before a potential lapse in federal appropriations set to begin Sunday. Parks would […]

The farm bill is on the verge of expiring. Congress is months away from a new version.

BY: - September 26, 2023

WASHINGTON — As the deadline for Congress to pass a new farm bill looms this weekend, staff members of the House and Senate Agriculture committees say it will be months – if not longer – until they reach agreement on a new bill. Lawmakers must rewrite the sweeping farm bill every five years to set […]