Credit Sen. Bill Kintner of Papillion for introducing the most mean-spirited bill of the session.
Kintner wants to hold resettlement organizations in Nebraska financially liable for crimes committed by refugees they helped bring from 43 countries Kintner deemed “high-risk.”
His bill would require resettlement agencies in the state to prove they can pay up to $25 million if they resettle refugees from those countries, and authorize the state Department of Insurance to fine agencies up to $1,000 per day for each refugee they’ve settle in the past five years if they can’t prove those financial resources.
If passed the law would cover Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska, Catholic Social Services and the Refugee Empowerment Center.
The bill would severely crimp the efforts of the local agencies to help refugees fleeing persecution by Islamic State terrorists.
"I don't know how we would afford an insurance policy like that, if it was even available," said Ann Marie Kudlacz, executive director at Omaha's Refugee Empowerment Center.
Kintner says he is worried about terrorists slipping in. In truth the refugee vetting process takes months and even years. There are easier ways for terrorists to get into the country.
It would be shameful if Kintner’s bill passed. Consider who it would hurt the most. For example, it’s been reported by various reputable news organizations that ISIS has an official set of rules for using non-Muslim women as sexual slaves. Kintner’s bill would put obstacles in the way of Nebraskans who want to help them find haven.
As awful as Kintner’s LB966 may be, it’s not really surprising in view of his legislative record.
A few years ago he introduced a bill that would have prevented state and local agencies from adopting policies “traceable to Agenda 21,” which alarmists said was a plot for the United Nations to take over the world. Actually Agenda 21 was a voluntary plan promoting sustainable ways to conserve resources. It was signed by President George H.W. Bush.
Last year he was criticized by the Nebraska Latino-American Commission for using what the commission said was “an offensive, derogatory racial slur mocking Mexicans who traversed the Rio Grande River to get to America” in legislative debate.
He was also criticized for posting a graphic photo of a beheaded woman on his Facebook page. Kintner said he was trying to make the point that the death penalty is needed.
Kintner’s record has grown to the extent that there is a Facebook page dedicated to Kintner quotes.
Since the voters in his district saw fit to send Kintner to the Legislature the bill will have the requisite public hearing. As soon as that has taken place state senators should kill the bill. Hopefully that will happen before Kintner does something else to embarrass the state.