Government & Politics

Nebraska State Penitentiary

Criminal justice reform bill goes down in flames after lengthy debate

BY: - April 6, 2022

LINCOLN — For the second time in seven years, state lawmakers have rejected the advice of national authorities on how to reduce spending on prisons.  On Wednesday, a filibuster blocked a bill enacting criminal justice reforms developed after a months-long study in conjunction with the Crime and Justice Institute. The death of Legislative Bill 920, […]

Masks in a shop window

AG says state will drop lawsuit against Omaha, health director on mask mandate ordinance

BY: - April 6, 2022

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to add the mayor’s comments after signing the revised ordinance. OMAHA — Omaha is adding a new layer of elected oversight to the final decision on any future mask mandates, which is enough to get the State of Nebraska to drop its lawsuit against the city and its […]

Former nursing home

Behavioral health providers plead for funding that helps them help people

BY: - April 6, 2022

LINCOLN — At Behavioral Health Specialists, an increase in demand for mental health care because of COVID-19 has grown into a waiting list of more than 100 people for one of the 58 inpatient treatment beds at the nonprofit’s sites in Norfolk and Columbus.  Meanwhile, the organization is competing for employees with local fast-food restaurants, […]

Nebraska Legislature falls one vote short of overriding federal rent aid veto

BY: - April 5, 2022

LINCOLN — Nebraska lawmakers fell one vote short Tuesday of overriding Gov. Pete Ricketts’ veto on federal rental help, which means the state’s more rural towns won’t be getting any piece of what turned into a controversial $120 million pot of aid. State Sen. Matt Hansen of Lincoln, who led the override push under Legislative […]

Sen. Wendy DeBoer

Attempt to add tax cuts for middle class fails as major tax relief bill advances

BY: - April 5, 2022

LINCOLN — An effort to include additional tax cuts for middle-class Nebraskans failed Tuesday as a comprehensive tax relief bill moved to final-round consideration. Legislative Bill 873, which combines cuts in individual and corporate income taxes with additional property tax relief and a phasing out of taxes on Social Security benefits, advanced from second-round debate […]

Patty Pansing Brooks

Pansing Brooks picked by Democrats for special election to fill Fortenberry term

BY: - April 5, 2022

LINCOLN — As expected, State Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks of Lincoln was named Tuesday as the Democratic Party’s candidate for the special election to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry. A special election will be held June 28 to fill out Fortenberry’s remaining term. He resigned March 31 after […]

Pillen taps longtime prosecutor Joe Kelly as running mate

BY: - April 5, 2022

LINCOLN — Nebraska gubernatorial candidate Jim Pillen on Tuesday picked Joe Kelly, one of the state’s top prosecutors, as his running mate. Kelly, who leads the Criminal Bureau for the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office, served as U.S. attorney for Nebraska from 2018 to 2021 and Lancaster County attorney from 2011 to 2018. Kelly described his […]

CHI Health Center

Nebraska turnback tax grants decline in 2022 due to pandemic

BY: - April 5, 2022

LINCOLN — The COVID-19 pandemic was not kind to the state’s Civic and Community Center Financing Fund, which awarded far fewer grants in 2022 than prior to the onset of the pandemic in 2019. The Nebraska Department of Economic Development announced Friday that it was awarding $1.2 million in grants this year from the fund, […]

Nebraska State Capitol Building

Ricketts wields veto pen, says Nebraska needs to save money for tax cuts

BY: - April 4, 2022

LINCOLN — Citing a need to preserve state funds for tax cuts, Gov. Pete Ricketts wielded his veto pen Monday, reducing general fund expenditures by nearly $52 million. “My vetoes will ensure that Nebraska is poised to provide top-notch government services while keeping tax relief a possibility,” Ricketts said in a news release.  His cuts, […]

State Sen. Brett Lindstrom and Mayor Jean Stothert

Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert endorses Brett Lindstrom for Nebraska governor

BY: - April 4, 2022

OMAHA — State Sen. Brett Lindstrom’s bid to become Nebraska’s next governor got a timely boost Monday from Mayor Jean Stothert. Stothert endorsed Lindstrom on the same day counties started mailing out early ballots for the May 10 primary race. The mayor praised his record of cutting taxes and working with others, regardless of their […]

Buffalo County Sheriff's Office

Bonuses and streamlined transfers tried as ways to address shortage in law enforcement ranks

BY: - April 4, 2022

LINCOLN — Buffalo County Sheriff Neil Miller can remember the days when applicants to become sheriff’s deputies filled two rooms. Today, he said he’ll be lucky to get six or seven applicants for the two openings he has in his agency of 35. “I’m getting one-tenth of the applicants that we used to get eight […]

Progressive group launches campaign to ‘unrig’ the economy, targeting U.S. Rep. Don Bacon

BY: - April 2, 2022

A group called Unrig the Economy Nebraska launched Saturday to target votes taken by U.S. Rep. Don Bacon