The proposal drew criticism Tuesday from some Nebraska lawmakers, who say the state should find other ways to address its projected revenue shortfall.
The proposal by Sen. Merv Riepe of Omaha would temporarily lift the requirement that child care rates be adjusted to between the 60th and 75 percentile of market rates for child care. The Department of Health and Human Services has signaled that it wants to keep the current rates, which were set at the 60th percentile of market rates, even if the cost of child care increases.
Sen. Sara Howard of Omaha says she opposes efforts to balance the budget on the backs of child care providers.
University Vice Chancellor Juan Franco said in a news release Tuesday that a university investigation of the Phi Gamma Delta chapter uncovered reckless alcohol use, hazing and inappropriate sexually based behavior over several academic terms.
The release says the comments made by frat members Jan. 21 outside the fraternity house during the Women’s March “were consistent with the pattern of sexually harassing conduct evident in multiple other incidents.”
Bill Martin, executive director of Phi Gamma Delta International Fraternity, says the chapter members have expressed their commitment to “the changes and progress necessary to regain recognition from the university.”
The Nebraska State Tax Equalization and Review Commission last week ruled against the Platte River Whooping Crane Maintenance Trust. Hall County had argued that some of the trust’s land was leased to agricultural operators. Trust officials have said the lease money sustains the trust’s charitable mission.
The county also had argued that the Nebraska Legislature has not created an exemption for conservation activities.
The commission said in its ruling that some jurisdictions in other states have concluded that conserving property for habitat and wildlife is a charitable use, “the commission is not persuaded that such lands should be exempt without legislative action.”
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska lawmakers have advanced a bill that could save the state $19 million annually by streamlining the process state officials use when working with the federal government on road projects.
Senators gave the measure first-round approval on Tuesday with a 42-0 vote.
The bill by Sen. Mike Hilgers of Lincoln would direct the state to enter into an agreement with the federal government. It also would require the state to waive a small part of its sovereign immunity, giving the public a way to force state officials to conduct environmental reviews if they haven’t.
Hilgers say the agreement would eliminate some of the formal communications between state and federal officials that can add months to a project’s timeline. He says it will also save the federal government money.
SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. (AP) — A man paroled after serving time for second-degree murder has been accused of possessing drugs for sale in Scotts Bluff County.
Court records say 45-year-old Travis Buechler, of Minatare, is charged with possession of methamphetamine and related crimes. Online records say he remained in Scotts Bluff County custody Tuesday. His attorney didn’t immediately return a call from The Associated Press.
Documents say Buechler was arrested Wednesday evening after a search of his pickup outside a Scottsbluff convenience store. An officer reports seeing Buechler have a suspicious meeting with another man in the parking lot.
Buechler was paroled last year. He’d been sentenced to 10 to 40 years for the 1993 slaying of Efrain Hernandez, whose remains were found in a corral on an abandoned farmstead in Sioux County.
The university said in a news release Monday night that Phi Kappa Psi was suspended until 2025.
The student accused of the stabbing, Christopher Wheeler, has said he has no memory of the incident. His family and attorneys have said he was forced in a fraternity hazing incident to take a hallucinogenic drug. Phi Kappa Psi representatives have denied that and say any alcohol or drug consumption by Wheeler appeared to have been voluntary.
The university said that while it was investigating the residence hall stabbing, it found violations of the university conduct code and anti-hazing policies. It said incidents investigated included underage drinking and drug distribution.
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Senators voted 39-2 on Monday to confirm Dr. Thomas Williams. Sen. Adam Morfeld, who voted against the confirmation, says the Department of Health and Human Services has allowed a Catholic group to stall the adoption of the state’s ethical principles for psychologists.
The Nebraska Catholic Conference insisted the regulations needed a “conscience clause” allowing psychologists to turn away lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender patients without referring them elsewhere.
Sen. Bob Krist of Omaha says he was disturbed by Williams’ testimony last week on medical marijuana legislation. Williams says marijuana has no medical use and was responsible for a Kansas man shooting his wife in 2014.