2024 Nebraska Legislative Session Wrap-Up

Each legislative session, the Nebraska Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, on behalf of its network of member programs, works to advance legislation that supports survivors, prevention efforts, and healthy communities for all Nebraskans. Much of this work takes place as bills are being drafted and after they have been introduced. Behind the scenes, the Nebraska Coalition works one-on-one with senators to provide subject matter expertise, coordinates testimonies at committee hearings, and supports survivors who wish to engage with the legislative process. 


Passed Bills Supported by the Nebraska Coalition

The 2024 Nebraska Legislative session ended on April 18 with 370 bills passed. On behalf of survivors of sexual, domestic, and similar types of violence, as well as the communities in which they live, the Nebraska Coalition supported twelve bills this session, with two ultimately passing. 

LB 870 - Provide for additional rights of notification, information, and preservation of evidence under the Sexual Assault Victims’ Bill of Rights Act 

This bill allows individuals who have undergone a forensic examination following a reported sexual assault to request that law enforcement preserve that forensic evidence for an additional 20 years. This bill also requires law enforcement to notify survivors no later than 60 days before the end of the required retention period for evidence of its intended destruction or disposal. 

“The Nebraska Coalition believes that all victims of crime have the right to know the status of evidence related to their assault, including the right to be notified of the destruction of a forensic sexual assault evidence,” Melanie Kirk, legal director, said during a judiciary committee hearing.

LB 940 - Payments to Counties

This bill provides direct support to Nebraska’s domestic violence/sexual assault programs which offer crisis intervention, support, and prevention services to survivors in all 93 counties. They are supported by state and federal grants, donations and fundraising, state general funds, and, for many, county funds. Yet these programs face financial challenges, including a growing demand for services, rising costs for resources, and looming cuts to federal funding. This bill will directly impact their ability to retain county funds now and in the future. 


Unpassed Bills Opposed by the Nebraska Coalition

The Nebraska Coalition also opposed two bills, which did not pass. 

LB 1330 - Prohibit public educational institutions from taking certain actions relating to DEI 

This bill would have prohibited Nebraska’s colleges and universities from implementing effective violence prevention strategies that reflect the needs of their unique community and address factors that place students at increased risk of violence. And, since LB 1330 was in direct contrast to the evidence-based requirements of national anti-violence funding, it would have jeopardized campuses’ ability to receive such funding.

LR277CA - Constitutional amendment to require the Legislature to enact laws providing for life imprisonment for sex or labor trafficking of a minor and certain sex offenses involving minors 

This bill would have led to increased criminal penalties for individuals convicted of sex and labor trafficking of minors. However, LR277CA did not account for the level of coercive control exerted over survivors and the effect that trauma has on decision-making. Whether out of fear, a sense of loyalty, or an attempt at self-preservation, survivors may engage in behavior that falls under Nebraska’s anti-trafficking statute. This bill would have subjected criminalized survivors to excessively long prison sentences while failing to address the root causes of human trafficking and prevent victimization.

“The Nebraska Coalition took a careful and thoughtful approach to opposing this bill but ultimately felt as though the potential unintended consequences on survivors is too great not to,” Christon MacTaggart, executive director, explained during a judiciary committee hearing. 


Unpassed Bills Supported by the Nebraska Coalition

While many bills passed this session, many more did not. Despite how far they made it through the process, these unpassed bills must be reintroduced in future legislative sessions and start over from the beginning. However, every testimony, conversation, and relationship built through these bills is progress toward supporting survivors, prevention efforts, and healthy communities for all Nebraskans. 

  • LB 845 - Keep families with children from being evicted during the school year 
  • LB 928 - Create a full-time mental health director for Corrections
  • LB 967 - Change provisions relating to trafficking offenses and the Human Trafficking Victim Assistance Fund 
  • LB 976 - Provide for an education and training program for judges and court staff 
  • LB 1098 - Adopt the Protection Orders Act  
  • LB 1139 - Adopt the Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Act 
  • LB 1159 - Provide additional offenses for which notification to crime victims is required  
  • LB 1222 - Change termination of parental rights provision when conceived through sexual assault 
  • LB 1224 - Prohibit certain conduct relating to mobile tracking devices and change provisions relating to intercepted communications 
  • LB 1350 - Define certain shelter terms under the Health Care Facilities Licensure Act

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