Nebraska senator agrees to pause filibuster that’s brought 2023 session to a crawl

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — Nebraska Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh has agreed to pause her 3-week filibuster, for now.

The announcement came Thursday morning after an especially contentious day at the Capitol.

Cavanaugh compared proposals that would impact transgender youth to genocide.

Both LB 574 and LB 575 led to her filibuster in the first place, and she previously said she planned to “burn the session to the ground,” in protest.

“What I’m trying to do is make sure that those that are going to be impacted by this kind of hateful legislation do feel like there’s somebody advocating for them,” Cavanaugh said.

The filibuster brought the legislative session to a crawl, with the lawmaker introducing amendments to every bill that made it to the floor.

She even kept it up despite suffering from strep throat at one point.

Cavanaugh said, while it was difficult to keep the filibuster going, she believes what she did was important.

“If we’re gonna save lives of trans kids, it’s worth it. 100% it’s worth it,” she said. “I think it’s time to move forward with the session, I think it’s time to debate the actual bill and show the people of Nebraska that we will not legislate hate and move forward and actually get to the business of the state.”

Speaker John Arch said he and Cavanaugh agreed to stop the discussion of LB 574 while talking about other bills.

Now, a debate is scheduled on LB 574 starting next week.

Arch has tried speeding up the process, having the Legislature work through lunch at times.

He also said senators would soon be having all-day debates once committee hearings wrap up later this month.

He said of the 107 priority bills this year, only seven have been addressed on general file so far.

Arch also addressed some of the contentions during the debate, saying bills such as LB 754 will evoke passionate statements from senators.

“Colleagues these issues will challenge us to conduct ourselves with decorum during the remaining days,” he said. “The public expects nothing less and we should expect nothing less of each other. Let’s measure our words carefully and demonstrate statesmanship in the days ahead.”

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