U.S. House speaker calls for ‘responsible’ debt limit legislation, shares few details

BY: - February 6, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Monday said the greatest threat to the nation’s future is the rising national debt, though he gave few specifics for how he planned to lower deficit spending or avoid a first-ever default on the debt this year.  The California Republican, in a 10-minute address from the U.S. […]

Letter signed by 1,500 people urges Children’s Hospital to oppose proposed gender care ban

BY: - February 6, 2023

Editor’s note: This report has been updated to include comment from Children’s Hospital. More than 1,500 people as of Monday signed onto a letter urging the Omaha Children’s Hospital and Medical Center board of directors to oppose legislation that would ban gender-affirming health care for minors in Nebraska. The bill would also ban medical providers […]

White House targets economic development in Central America to reduce migration

BY: - February 6, 2023

WASHINGTON — The White House on Monday announced nearly $1 billion in investments to address economic causes of migration in several Central American countries, an effort being spurred by Vice President Kamala Harris.   Spread over several years, 10 private companies ranging from Target to Nestlé are pledging a total of $950 million to create economic […]

Pillen proposes $5 million for mentoring, childhood literacy push

BY: - February 6, 2023

LINCOLN — Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen on Monday proposed spending $5 million a year in tax dollars to create a new competitive grant program to help long-established, youth-focused organizations recruit mentors for thousands of kids. The first focus of the new mentoring initiative would be on expanding the number of volunteers who spend time helping […]

Wilderness Park protest

Protesters arrested at site of housing development near Lincoln’s Wilderness Park

BY: - February 6, 2023

Editor’s note: This has been updated to include developments on Tuesday.  LINCOLN — Five protesters were reportedly arrested Tuesday as Lincoln police intervened to allow tree removal to resume at a housing development planned near Wilderness Park. But by nightfall, Native American activists were still occupying a protest camp across the road from the proposed […]

Nebraska lawmaker revives attempt to support, streamline permits for food trucks

BY: - February 6, 2023

LINCOLN — A proposal in the Nebraska Legislature would cut red tape for food truck owners who face what State Sen. Tony Vargas of Omaha said is a “patchwork of regulations.” Legislative Bill 740 by Vargas would require the Nebraska Department of Agriculture to maintain a list of areas that have food truck ordinances and establish […]

Nebraska’s costliest governor’s race left wild numbers in its wake

BY: - February 6, 2023

OMAHA — The costliest election in Nebraska history is over, including a governor’s race with state-record spending in 2022 of $29 million, campaign finance reports show. Even including the general election that University of Nebraska Regent Jim Pillen won over State Sen. Carol Blood, nobody spent more than the second-place finisher in the GOP primary. […]

Fortenberry and Sasse headline unusual year-end campaign finance reports 

BY: - February 6, 2023

OMAHA — The departures of a congressman and a U.S. senator spiced up the final campaign finance reports for Nebraska’s congressional races in 2022. In eastern Nebraska’s 1st Congressional District, U.S. Rep. Mike Flood, R-Neb., defeated Democratic State Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks in a rare special election. The seat opened when Rep. Jeff Fortenberry resigned […]

Floor of the Nebraska Legislature

Most Nebraska legislative races in 2022 exceed $100,000 in spending

BY: - February 6, 2023

Spending six figures could be a new norm for running for the Nebraska Legislature. At least one candidate in 19 of the 25 races for the Nebraska Legislature in 2022 exceeded six figures in expenditures by the general election. In nine of those races, both general election candidates spent more than $100,000. Together, these candidates […]

States criticized for spending federal relief funds on tax cuts, prisons

BY: - February 6, 2023

As states plan how they’ll spend the $25 billion remaining in federal COVID relief funds, some also are facing criticism and renewed scrutiny over how they have allocated money already received from the American Rescue Plan Act. Of the $198 billion authorized by Congress in 2021, $173 billion already has been appropriated by states, the […]

North Omaha lawmakers challenged about process that recommended $225 million in grants

BY: - February 5, 2023

OMAHA — A North Omaha community forum got testy at times Sunday night as many participants challenged the process that led to the slate of North and South Omaha groups in line to share $225 million in federal funds. State Sens. Terrell McKinney and Justin Wayne, both of North Omaha, fielded questions from the estimated […]

DNC delivers blow to New Hampshire, Iowa with overhaul of primary calendar

BY: - February 4, 2023

The Democratic National Committee approved a presidential primary calendar Saturday that placed South Carolina as the first nominating state in 2024, pushing back New Hampshire and Iowa from their traditional spots in a party-wide push to diversify the early calendar. In a voice vote at the DNC’s winter meeting in Philadelphia, party members voted to […]