NMA Legislative Update 3/4/2024

Today is Day 37 of the 60-day legislative session. Thursday of last week marked the end of committee hearings, and full-day floor debate commenced today.

Last week was a rare week of just three legislative days for the Nebraska Legislature. Senators spent the first two days locked in a filibuster over repealing the state’s inheritance tax. On Thursday, the Legislature passed thirteen bills on a wide range of subjects, including LB307, which would allow municipal and county governments to authorize syringe services programs (SSPs) to provide access to sterile syringes, along with referral information and educational materials regarding substance use disorder prevention and treatment and other harm reduction measures. Governor Pillen vetoed the measure today, citing concerns about increases in overdose deaths and questioning the effectiveness of such programs. Senator Hunt, the bill’s sponsor, has filed a motion to override the Governor’s veto, setting up the first gubernatorial override attempt of the session. The override will be taken up by the Legislature within the next five legislative work days.

Over the final two weeks of committee hearings, the NMA continued to provide input to legislative committees on a number of introduced measures, including:

  • Support for LB990 to enhance Nebraska’s existing regulations of pharmacy benefit managers;
  • Support for LB1106 to increase Medicaid coverage and reimbursement for lactation consultations;
  • Opposition to LB954 to adopt the Biometric Autonomy Liberty Law, which would create an additional regulatory framework with which health care entities must ensure compliance to protect biometric data;
  • Opposition to provisions of LB1417 which would terminate the Primary Care Investment Council and the Brain Injury Oversight Committee;
  • Neutral input on LB823 to adopt the Physician Assistant Licensure Compact; and
  • Neutral input on LB1109 to eliminate certain felony penalties related to abortion and provide an exception to current abortion restrictions in the case of fatal fetal anomalies up to 20 weeks postfertilization.

This week, many eyes will be on the Revenue Committee to see if it makes progress crafting a property tax relief package and on the Appropriations Committee as it nails down its budget proposal. Both committees received positive news on Thursday when the State’s Revenue Forecasting Board increased the revenue forecast for the biennium by $50 million.

(Available to NMA Members Only)