Helmet bill fails to overcome filibuster

Posted By: Veronica Ortega

vortega@klkntv.com

After several hours of debate the bill to repeal Nebraska’s mandatory helmet law is dead for the year. This is not Senator Dave Bloomfield’s first time introducing the bill, but it will be his last for now, because of term limits. He pleaded with his fellow lawmakers to vote yes to cloture.

"It is essential that we have a green vote on cloture. Let us move this forward. I think the hour and the moment is at hand," said Sen. Dave Bloomfield.

Senators voted 30-17 three votes shy of the 33 they needed to end the filibuster led by Senator Robert Hilkemann of Omaha.

The bill would have allowed riders 21 and older to choose whether they wanted to wear a helmet, and would have created a brain injury trust from an increase in motorcycle registration fees. 

"One of the responsibilities that we ask is that you wear a helmet. So that we can protect society from having to pay some of the damages that can occur from head injuries," said Sen. Robert Hilkemann.

In addition to the trust fund, the bill would have also required motorcyclists use protective eye-wear, and children under the age of eight wouldn’t be allowed to ride. It wasn’t enough to please those in opposition to the measure.

Some like Gretna Senator John Murante applauded Sen. Bloomfield’s efforts to compromise.

"As we approach the conclusion of this legislative session, and we see filibuster after filibuster, I do not want to contribute to the on going delay of us getting to the important  issues in this body," said Sen. John Murante.

Sen. Bloomfield says he doesn’t think the issue will ever go away, and even though he’s done after this session, another senator may bring it up again next year.