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The Legislature on Wednesday gave final approval to a bill that will raise speed limits on state highways by five miles per hour.

The bill (LB1009), introduced by Sen. John Murante of Gretna, was enacted on a 44-1 vote, with Sen. Joni Albrecht of Thurston casting the lone dissenting vote.

Maximum speed on two-lane, paved state highways would be increased from 60 to 65 mph. Maximum speed on state expressways and freeways would be lifted from 65 mph to 70 mph.

Authorization for the Department of Transportation to hike the maximum speed on portions of the interstate highway from 75 mph to 80 mph was removed from the bill during earlier floor consideration.

The bill will take effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns next week.

Other bills approved on final reading, which will require the governor's signature to become law:

Equine, animal massage (LB596, Groene) — Those who perform massage therapy on horses, dogs or cats will no longer need to be licensed to practice in the state.

Gun information exempt (LB841, Bostelman) — Gun licenses, registrations and other documents will no longer be considered public records under the Nebraska Public Records Act, although law enforcement agencies will still be able to access those records.

Online voter registration (LB1038, Thibodeau) — Voters who register online will be required to submit their registration before midnight on the third Friday before the election.

Dyslexia training required (LB1052, Pansing Brooks) — Teachers colleges must provide training on “evidence-based interventions” for dyslexia as part of their educational offerings; the Nebraska Department of Education must provide guidance to schools on how to perform those interventions.

School performance reporting (LB1110, Vargas) — The Nebraska Board of Education will report annual performance indicators for public schools and public school districts before Dec. 31 each year.

State ID card (LB258, Hansen) — The Department of Correctional Services will offer an opportunity for people about to be discharged from a correctional facility to receive a state identification card or renewed driver’s license.

Gun possession (LB990, Wayne) — A young person who has been previously adjudicated in juvenile court for a felony or misdemeanor crime of domestic violence cannot possess a firearm until age 25. The penalty for the offense of possession of a firearm by a prohibited juvenile offender would be a Class IV felony for a first offense and Class IIIA felony subsequently.

Trafficking crimes set aside (LB1132, Pansing Brooks) — The bill allows human-trafficking survivors to ask a judge to set aside their conviction and seal their criminal record for crimes of prostitution and others they committed while under a trafficker's influence. The request to set aside crimes could be done after the sentence for the crime was served. 

Jailhouse phone calls (LB776, McCollister) — The Nebraska Jail Standards Board would ensure county jails provide phone services, and provide them at reasonable costs, as outlined in the Code of Federal Regulations.

Commemorative birth certificates (LB1040, Albrecht) — A health care practitioner who attends or diagnoses a nonviable birth, or a health care facility where a nonviable birth occurs, must advise a patient that she may request a commemorative certificate. The certificate is not proof of a live birth or used to calculate live birth statistics. It has no legal effect.

 

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State government reporter

JoAnne Young covers state government, including the Legislature and state agencies, and the people they serve.

Political reporter

Don Walton, a Husker and Yankee fan, is a longtime Journal Star political and government reporter.

Higher education reporter

Chris Dunker covers higher education, state government and the intersection of both.

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