2016 Legislative Liberty Index

2016 Liberty Index

For the first time ever the RLCNE has compiled a Liberty Index for the 2016 legislative session of the Unicameral. While not all bills were included in this Index the RLCNE board feels that this covered a wide variety of bills to accurately give Nebraskans a picture of the Unicameral's attitude towards Liberty.

Our scoring methodology is broken down like this:

  • 2 points for a correct vote
  • -0.5 points for voting Present or being Excused from voting because they are either not taking a stand on an issue or are not doing the job they were elected to do.
  • -1 point for an incorrect vote

By having negative points on our scorecard it is possible for someone to have a negative % Liberty Index. However, for the whole Liberty Index this has not happened.

The good thing about having negative points on here and actually assessing Present/Excused we get a much more accurate picture of a Senator's liberty votes because everything is not cumulative which prevents someone from voting good once or twice and then sailing through with a bunch of Present/Excused votes and still being able to get a >60% Liberty Index.

If you would like to see the full vote breakdown by Senator per bill you can find that here.

If you would like to see a breakdown of the Liberty Index by category you can find that here.

The bills considered for this index were:

  • LB 18 sponsored by Senator Krist
    • Meningitis Vaccine--would require all students to be vaccinated for Meningitis prior to the 7th grade (a typical age for school physicals and vaccine boosters), and then again at 16. While a serious disease, it is very rare, and well over half of the population appears to be already getting the vaccine as part of their recommended vaccines when going to the doctor.
    • We believe this bill fell under the Individual Liberty/Limiting Government categories.
    • We believe that a NO on Cloture Vote was the correct way to vote.
  • LB 289 sponsored by Senator Ebke
    • Firearm Preemption--would prohibit municipalities from imposing greater gun restrictions on firearms possession than the state does.
    • We believe this bill fell under the Limiting Government/Protecting Civil Liberties categories.
    • We believe that a YES on Cloture Vote was the correct way to vote.
  • LB 378 sponsored by Senator Groene
    • Requires voter approval of certain bonding changes within cities which would change taxpayer liability on projects.
    • We believe this bill fell under the Good Government category.
    • We believe that a YES on Final Reading was the correct way to vote.
  • LB 619 sponsored by Senator Larson
    • Define Poker as a Game of Skill, which would allow the creation of Poker Rooms and Poker Tournaments in Nebraska. The Nebraska Constitution limits gambling in the state, and defines gambling as a Game of Chance.
    • We believe this bill fell under the Individual Liberty/Limiting Government categories.
    • We believe that a YES on Cloture Vote was the correct way to vote.
  • LB 643 sponsored by Senator Garrett
    • ¬†Adopt the Medical Cannabis Act--would have allowed the use of cannabis oil (in oil, capsule tablet, or vaporized form) for those who suffer from severe seizure disorders, or for certain other ailments like cancer, chronic pain.
    • We believe this bill fell under the Individual Liberty category.
    • We believe that a YES on Cloture Vote was the correct way to vote.
  • LB 821 sponsored by Senator Larson
    • Prohibits employers from requiring employees (or prospective employees) from providing social media sign in information, or requiring them to sign in, in the presence of the employer, for purposes of screening. Exempts law enforcement from those prohibitions.
    • We believe this bill fell under the Individual Liberty/Privacy categories.
    • We believe that a YES on Final Reading was the correct way to vote.
  • LB 898 sponsored by Senator Fox
    • Removes license requirements for those who braid hair, but do not cut or engage in other cosmetological services.
    • We believe this bill fell under the Limiting Government/Free Market categories.
    • We believe that a YES on Final Reading was the correct way to vote.
  • LB 900 sponsored by Senator Bloomfield
    • Motorcycle Helmet Repeal-would have allowed those 21 and older to ride without a helmet. Would have added prohibition for any 8 and under from riding on a motorcycle. Would have created a Brain Injury Trust Fund with added fees for motocycle licenses.
    • We believe this bill fell under the Individual Liberty category.
    • We believe that a YES on Cloture Vote was the correct way to vote.
  • LB 1032 sponsored by Senator McCollister
    • Transitional Health Insurance Program--aka Medicaid Expansion
    • We believe this bill fell under the Limiting Government category.
    • We believe that a YES on Bracket Motion (effectively kills bill) was the correct way to vote.
  • LB 1067 sponsored by Senator Sullivan
    • Eliminate the Common Levy in the Learning Community--would allow schools in the learning community more control of dollars within their school districts.
    • We believe this bill fell under the Good Government category.
    • We believe that a YES on Final Reading was the correct way to vote.
  • LB 1103 sponsored by Senator Schumacher
    • Medicaid Reimbursement for nursing homes--would have provided a means of recovery of Medicaid dollars for those who have placed their property in "life estates" prior to entering a nursing home, but who then apply to have public assistance through Medicaid pay for the cost of care. Would create a registry of life estates, which would be cross-referenced should someone apply for Medicaid care. A lien would be placed on final transfer of the property upon death, so that Medicaid dollars could be recovered from the estate.
    • We believe this bill fell under the Good Government category.
    • We believe that a YES on Cloture Vote was the correct way to vote.
  • LB 1106 sponsored by Senator Garrett
    • Civil Asset Forfeiture--in essence prohibits the seizing of property (cash, real property, other things of value) without a conviction--protection of 4th and 5th Amendment rights.
    • We believe this bill fell under the Limiting Government/Protecting Civil Liberties categories.
    • We believe that a YES on Final Reading was the correct way to vote.
  • LB 1109 sponsored by Senator Murante
    • University of Nebraska Hiring Practices--for top positions (i.e.President, Chancellors) in the University system, would no longer require a transparent hiring practice (currently requires the public vetting of 4 candidates), and would only require the Regents to announce a single "priority candidate" who would undergo a 30 day review prior to the contract being offered.
    • We believe this bill fell under the Good Government category.
    • We believe that a NO on Final Reading was the correct way to vote.
  • LR 35 sponsored by Senator Ebke
    • Would have served as Nebraska's application for an Article V Convention, limited to considering amendments which would impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, decreasing the power of the Federal Goverrnment, and federal office term limits.
    • We believe this bill fell under the Constitutional category.
    • We believe that a NO on Motion to Recommit to Committee (effectively kill) was the correct way to vote.