The fight over abortion legislation in Nebraska is formally underway, as Omaha Sen. Megan Hunt brought motions to force three measures from the Health and Human Services Committee to the Judiciary Committee for hearings.
During floor debate on the motion to move LB626, the proposed Nebraska Heartbeat Act, Sen. Jen Day of Omaha said the original reference decision breaks with long-standing tradition.
“If you look at the Nebraska Legislature’s legislator’s guide, under the Judiciary Committee under number 13, abortion is specifically listed,” said Day. “As far as I know, discussing this with other colleagues, and others out in the Rotunda, there has never been an abortion bill that has been referenced to Health and Human Services, or any other committee, outside of Judiciary.”
Reference Committee Chair Sen. Tom Briese of Albion the rules say bills should be sent to a committee with subject matter jurisdiction or where they have been sent traditionally, and many could go to multiple committees, but the recommendation of the reviser statue pointed to Health and Human Services for the bill brought forward by Sen. Joni Albrecht of Thurston.
The motion to move LB626 to the Judiciary Committee failed on a vote of 14 to 32, but Hunt made a motion to reconsider that vote, which was pending at the end of the morning session and will be taken up Friday morning.
Hunt has also filed the same motions on LR18CA and LR19CA, both resolutions that would ask voters to place further abortion restrictions in the state Constitution. Consideration of those motions would follow tomorrow’s reconsider motion related to the Nebraska Heartbeat Act.