Strengthen abuse reporting requirements
Nebraska lawmakers made clear this week that they want the state to step up its efforts to address sexual abuse allegations involving children in state custody.
State senators voted 37-0 on first-round debate to approve legislation by State Sen. Sue Crawford of Bellevue to strengthen the requirements about reports of sexual abuse in the state's child welfare and juvenile justice systems.
From 2013-16, Julie Rogers, the state inspector for child welfare, found at least 50 Nebraska children suffered sexual abuse while in the state's care or in an adoptive or guardianship home. The actual number is likely higher, Rogers said, since some were screened out incorrectly, not investigated properly or unreported.
The Legislature rightly put a spotlight on this need. LB1078 deserves final passage into law, and the range of Nebraska organizations involved on this issue have a responsibility to increase their vigilance to keep these vulnerable children safe.
— Omaha World-Herald
Petition doesn't fix tax problems
Since the Legislature won’t address LB829, the bill's supporters are turning to a petition drive to place the issue on this November's ballot. The measure, which proposes a refundable credit against state income taxes equal to 50 percent of property taxes paid to support schools, would be a colossal blowout in Nebraska's state budget in the neighborhood of $1.1 billion.
As people are presented with the chance to sign this petition, we wish a robot were present to shout, "Danger, danger!"
State funding for education (from K-12 through the University of Nebraska), public safety and other vital services would be thrown into horrible disarray without hurried changes in our sales or income tax structures. And such changes should not be made in haste.
These severe consequences should be enough to cause voters to decline to sign the petition.
— Grand Island Independent
Be prepared for active shooter
If you found yourself in an active shooter crisis, would you know what to do? According to a presentation the Norfolk Police Department has been sharing with the community, the first step is to be mentally prepared.
Norfolk residents who hear the presentation learn about tactical thinking and mental preparation. The department says it is important for people to consider what they would do and where they would go.
Some organizations employ safety experts to assess their facilities and instruct groups about safety concerns when large numbers of employees gather. This may include reminders about exits — including the ones that are obstructed — so participants can mentally prepare for an active shooter situation.
Until emergency responders arrive, the best defense is to run or hide, but, if you're face-to-face with the shooter, there may be no choice but to fight.
— Kearney Hub