Lawmakers advance bill to shield inmates from excessive phone costs

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Nebraska lawmakers have advanced a bill designed to shield jail inmates from having to pay excessive charges to make phone or video calls while incarcerated.

The measure won first-round approval on a 28-2 vote.

Sen. John McCollister, of Omaha, says allowing inmates to stay connected with friends and family leads to lower rates of repeat offenders, which could help ease Nebraska’s prison overcrowding