A jail inmate would have to pay $10 if he or she makes a non-emergency visit to a health care provider, under a new bill introduced in the Legislature. The money would go to the state or county’s general fund, depending on where the inmate is housed.
If the inmate doesn’t have the money, it would be taken out of future income.
Initial health evaluations would be excepted and paid by the taxpayers.
Sen. Tyson Larson of O’Neill introduced the bill, LB 246. He said a county sheriff asked him to introduce the bill. The sheriff said inmate requests for health care pull deputies away from regular duties and the county has to pay all the costs.
Larson said 37 other states require such payments from inmates, including Iowa, South Dakota and Kansas, according to an Associated Press report.
In all, Nebraska lawmakers introduced more than 246 legislative bills during the second week of the legislative session, bringing the total so far to 401 bills.
Thursday is the deadline for bill introductions.
Here are more from week two.
• LB171 would expedite the concealed handgun permit process − from 45 days to five days − for applicants who are victims of domestic violence. Sponsored by Sen. Dave Bloomfield of Hoskins.
• LB181 would make it illegal to operate a motorcycle with a passenger under 8 years of age. Sponsored by Sen. Bill Avery of Lincoln.
• LB182 would prevent the biological father of a child who was conceived as a result of sexual assault from being considered a part of the child's family under paternity law. Also sponsored by Avery.
• LB190 would appropriate $10 million each from the general funds for 2013-14 and 2014-15 for the Early Childhood Education Endowment Cash Fund. The fund provides grants to school districts for early childhood education programs for at-risk children from birth to age 3. Sponsored by Sen. John Harms of Scottsbluff.
• LB204 would increase the punishment for anyone who witnesses or suspects animal cruelty without reporting it from an infraction to a Class III misdemeanor. It also expands the responsibility to report such abuse from employees to the public. Sponsored by Sen. Tyson Larson of O’Neill.
• LB216 would provide support for foster children transitioning to adult life with services such as Medicaid and payments for housing. Sponsored by Sen. Amanda McGill of Lincoln.
• LB217 would increase the salaries of Nebraska’s constitutional officers in 2015. The governor’s salary would increase from $105,000 to $126,000. Sponsed by Sen. Bill Avery.
• LB225: Under this bill, all new babies born in Nebraska would have to get screened for critical congenital heart disease if they’re born at a hospital or health care facility with birthing services. Sponsored by Sen. Jim Smith of Papillion.
• LB258 would prohibit school bus drivers from using wireless devices. The drivers would still be allowed to use dispatch radios. Sponsored by Sen. Kate Sullivan of Cedar Rapids.
• LB267 would prohibit a prison inmate, person on parole, probation or work release from working as an undercover agent or employee of law enforcement. Sponsored by Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha.
• LB280 would change the provisions in the law regarding domestic assault cases. Among the provisions, the pronouns “his or her” would be added in the language of the statutes and penalties would stiffen for violators with prior convictions. Sponsored by Sen. Pete Pirsch of Omaha.
• LB293: Under this bill, information regarding firearm sale, registration, use or purchase would not be a matter of public record. The information would be available upon request by any federal, state or local law enforcement agency. Sponsored by Sen. Bill Kinter of Papillion.
• LB310 would clarify shoulder injuries would not be compensated the same as arm loss under the Workers’ Compensation Act in Nebraska. Sponsored by Sen. Kate Bolz of Lincoln.
• LB327: Under this bill, all 2014 individual income tax rates would go down by a few tenths of a percent. Sponsored by Sen. Pete Pirsch.
• LB355 would reduce the age of a minor from 19 to 18. Sponsored by Sen. Tyson Larson.
• LB393 would require motorcyclists and moped drivers to wear eye protection while driving on highways in Nebraska. It also exempts people over 21 from wearing helmets while driving on the same highways. Sponsored by Sen. Dave Bloomfield of Hoskins.
• LB400 would appropriate $101 million for the program Aid to Community Colleges in each year from 2013 to 2015. Sponsored by Sen. Scott Lautenbaugh of Omaha.
Joseph Moore, Bethany Knipp and Demetria Stephens of the Nebraska News Service wrote the bill recaps.