OPINION

Legislative Update with Senator Julie Slama

Syracuse Journal-Democrat

Senator Slama's Signed 2021 Legislation

This week’s column will highlight a few of my bills that passed into law in 2021.

First, LB 152 was signed into law on May 5 and loosened restrictions on fireworks. In our district, hundreds of people would flock to Missouri each year to purchase the larger fireworks that they wanted. This has led to Missouri making nearly eight times as much firework revenue annually as Nebraska. The passage of LB 152 will keep Nebraskans from being labeled criminals for possessing bottle rockets. Now, we are free to celebrate the Fourth of July how we want to, without fear or breaking the law! 

Second, I introduced LB 327 this year, which will require a semester of financial literacy for students to graduate high school. This bill was amended into Senator McKinney’s LB 452 and was approved by the governor on May 25. Both LB 327 and LB 452 addressed the financial issues that our young Nebraskans face. With this bill becoming law, students will now be able to access an introduction to critical financial literacy fundamentals and will start off their lives as independent adults on better footing. 

Two of my bills, LB 403 and LB 593, passed quickly through the Legislature with nearly unanimous support, but that does not mean that they are not important. LB 403 offers better protections for Nebraska citizens against Medicaid liens and LB 593 addressed issues that our state had in recognizing foreign-country money judgments. Both bills were introduced to fix some of the kinks in our current law and were signed by the governor on May 5 as part of LB 501, a package full of non-controversial bills.

Last but not least, my personal priority bill for this session was Senator Briese’s LB 139, which prohibits frivolous COVID-related lawsuits. This law provides general liability protections from COVID-19 lawsuits for a broad range of individuals and organizations. These include, but are not limited to, restaurants, medical centers, and churches. Across the country, we are seeing individuals sue small businesses for exposing them to the coronavirus.. LB 139 will prevent civil action as long as the business was acting in compliance with federal public health guidelines in place at the time of the alleged exposure. The governor signed this bill into law on May 25.

It was an honor to pass these bills while representing the greatest district in Nebraska. I look forward to seeing these bills benefit Nebraskans in the years to come.

As always, I welcome your input on issues important to you. Follow along on my Facebook and Twitter pages, both entitled “Senator Julie Slama” for more updates, or contact me directly at Senator Julie Slama, District 1 State Capitol, PO Box 94604, Lincoln NE 68509-4604; telephone: 402-471-2733; email: jslama@leg.ne.gov.