Osborne Tackles Marijuana

Lincoln, NE.—Tom Osborne is teaming up with the Ricketts administration  to take on marijuana, medical or recreational.

Nebraska’s 81-year-old living legend running point alongside the head of the Nebraska State Patrol, Lieutenant Governor Mike Foley and others during a news conference at the State Capitol on Friday.

Osborne said he saw the problems caused by marijuana first hand when some former Huskers had to leave the program after testing positive.

Osborne’s comments (see comments in video below) came just minutes before a public hearing on legislation that would make medical marijuana legal in Nebraska.

Most of the comments, both for and against, were similar to testimony from previous hearings.

Backers of the bill argue it’s needed to alleviate epileptic seizures and pain from other severe medical conditions.



Bills would eliminate sales taxes on breastfeeding and menstrual products

World-Herald News Service

» Breastfeeding products. Sales taxes on breast pumps and related products would be eliminated under Legislative Bill 13 from State Sen. Carol Blood of Bellevue. Blood said at a hearing Friday that breastfeeding is the best option for a baby.

Jessica McClure testified that for her, a breast pump was necessary for medical reasons, but the one her insurance company sent her didn’t work.

The Department of Revenue estimated that the exemption would cost the state more than $300,000 in lost revenue in fiscal year 2020-21, but Blood said that was a poor estimate.

Women also could not be charged with public indecency for breastfeeding under the bill. Currently, they cannot be prosecuted unless someone complains, Blood and other testifiers said.

“It makes clear that women who do choose to breastfeed are not punished, financially or criminally, for their decision,” said Scout Richters of the ACLU of Nebraska.

» Tax-exempt menstrual products. Sales taxes on tampons and other menstrual products would be eliminated under LB 170 by Sen. Megan Hunt of Omaha.

They are a necessity and should not be taxed, much like food, she argued at her first bill hearing as a senator.

The Department of Revenue estimated that the state would lose more than $1.5 million because of the exemption in fiscal year 2020-21. Hunt said she hopes to offset that with another bill that would tax body piercing, tattooing, tanning and electrolysis hair removal services.

“There is no gender-specific product that is a necessity for men that is taxed in the same way,” proponent Jen Day of Omaha said.

» Public schools. Backers of public schools joined several state senators Friday to highlight about a dozen bills aimed at better meeting the needs of Nebraska schoolchildren. The measures cover issues including student nutrition, early childhood education, career education, behavioral health, school funding and school safety.

Jenni Benson, president of the Nebraska State Education Association, said the bills would pay long-term dividends to the state by improving the education of its residents. The event was hosted by the Nebraska Education Collaboration, whose members include all of the major education groups.

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