Nebraska senators will start debate on LB 496 on Tuesday

This bill has to do with the collection of DNA from those charged with a violent crime

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN)-Senator Robert Hilkmann has been working on LB 496 since it was passed down to him in 2015.  He is very passionate about this bill, and is ready to debate it soon.  This bill would alow law enforcement to collect a DNA sample from someone arrested and convicted of a violent crime.

“It’s not just arrested, you also have to be charged.  There is a difference,” said Senator Robert Hilkmann.

The ones who would get their DNA collected would be convicted felons.

“If you’re going to do an armed robbery or rape someone, then you need to be concerned about this bill. This is not, if your going down interstate 80 at 82 miles per hour your get pulled over were going to get your DNA. That is not what this bill is. We’re looking to solve violent felonies,” said Senator Hilkmann.

Hilkmann claims this would help law enforcement put the right person behind bars.

“DNA is the fingerprint of the 21st century. It’s moving us up to where many other states, 31 states have already adopted what we are trying to do here with LB 496. It has worked for over 15 years, not a single state has resended this action that they have taken,” said Senator Hilkmann.

He says when debate is open on this topic, he has stories to share from individuals in other states who have benefitted from a bill like this.

“I know that if we pass this, that there may be someone out there that may be sitting in prison today, falsely imprisoned, that this bill may exonerate them from a crime that they have done,” said Senator Hilkmann.

Senator Megan Hunt is opposed to this bill.  She suggested an amendment that all Nebraskans would submit their DNA, as she says it could help solve rape cases.  Debate on this bill will continue on Tuesday.

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