The Nebraska Legislature is back in session, and NAPE is keeping close track of bills that may affect state employees. Here are some to take note of:
LB 213 would require an “efficiency review” of state agencies by an outside contractor at an estimated annual cost of $4 million. Executive Director Justin Hubly testified in opposition of LB 213, because of the unnecessarily high cost. We believe that this money could be better spent investing in state employees, especially because frontline employees already know how to improve efficiency.
There are several bills which would place restrictions on individuals’ ability to file lawsuits over harm resulting from COVID-19 exposure. NAPE opposes these bills, as we believe individuals should have the ability to hold others accountable for COVID-19 exposure, including those at the workplace, that were caused by negligence. We believe no one should be immune from a lawsuit if they knowingly place others at risk, and these bills would limit the ability to make sure negligence can be penalized.
There are also several bills concerning the Youth Rehabilitation Treatment Centers in the state, including LB 426 and LR 25. LB 426 would require DHHS to conduct a cost analysis for capital improvement and structural changes at the Kearney YRTC and submit a report of its findings. LR 25 would appoint a special committee in the legislature to provide consistent oversight to the management of the facilities. NAPE supports these bills, as we believe legislative oversight can help improve management of the facilities overall.
LB 260 would make individuals eligible for unemployment who have voluntarily left unemployment to care for a family member with a serious medical condition. NAPE supports this bill, as we believe individuals caring for family members should be given the opportunity to access unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic.
NAPE will be keeping close track of these bills as they progress through committee, and will provide updates as the session continues. Members are invited to participate in a webinar on Monday, February 22 at 7pm central time to learn more about pending legislation. Members can register by clicking here.