Voter ID bill passes on final day of Nebraska Legislature
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — Nebraska lawmakers wrapped up the heated 2023 session on Thursday.
The final day was originally expected to happen on June 9.
But senators adjourned Thursday after a final round of debate on over a dozen measures.
That included LB 514, the voter ID proposal, which passed 38-1.
The bill is backed by both Gov. Jim Pillen and Nebraska Secretary of State Bob Evnen, who oversees elections.
Sen. Julie Slama, the lone no vote, had called the bill “fraud-friendly” and vowed to filibuster until the very end to push for stricter requirements.
“The Legislature has decided to pass a voter ID framework without any voter ID,” she said. “It’s a slap in the face to the voters of Nebraska. It’s a slap in the face to everybody who volunteered to collect signatures.”
But Sen. Tom Brewer repeatedly defended this bill.
“The Nebraska Legislature has an obligation to obey the will of the people and to pass voter ID,” he said in a recent statement. “We cannot afford to waste precious time and taxpayer money on a special session.”
Sen. Danielle Conrad of Lincoln said the Legislature covered a wide variety of topics, such as criminal justice reform, tax relief, voting rights, education funding and “everything in between.”
She said after heated exchanges over bills such as the ban on abortion and gender-affirming surgeries, there are lessons to learn for next year’s session.
“On one hand, I think perhaps we reached a low-water mark when it came to divisiveness and toxicity in our politics,” Conrad said. “On the other hand, I think that we have nowhere to go but up, together.”