Nebraska lawmakers have some long days of floor debate ahead of them, as Speaker of the Legislature John Arch Tuesday morning announced modifications to the schedule intended to maximize legislation that has a chance to pass during this year’s session.
The LaVista lawmaker outlined his updated plans for colleagues, saying while good legislation that doesn’t get debate this year will carry over to next year, changes are clearly needed now given the recent trend of discourse and filibuster on the floor.
“At the present time, both sides of the difficult social issues have stated their positions with little room for compromise. I’ve had those discussions in private, and that is my conclusion as of today,” said Arch. “But I’m not giving up on the possibility of compromise; there will always be an opportunity to move forward if there are two willing parties.”
Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh of Omaha has been conducting a filibuster of every bill on the floor, saying her intent is to consume as much time as possible to prevent passage of measures further limiting abortion in the state, as well as measures related to gender identity.
Arch said assuming every bill will be filibustered, adding floor debate time was the most appropriate option available to him as Speaker.
He said accordingly, once committee hearings end March 24, evening debate will be added to the all-day floor sessions that start March 28, the 51st day of the 90-day session, instead of April 11 as previously scheduled.