2015 Legislative Bills

Each legislative session, several bills are introduced, testified, and voted on that relate to Juvenile Justice in Nebraska. Below is a summary of the bills from the 2015 legislative session.  A master list of bills introduced this session can be found here.

Bills Passed

LB 15 – Guardians ad Litem

-The Nebraska Supreme Court must provide standards for and duties of Guardians ad Litem, including compensation of services.

-Bill goes into effect April 30, 2015

-Introduced by Senator Krist

LB 265 – Guardians ad Litem and FCRO

-Allows misdemeanor crimes committed by juveniles to be filed in county court until 2017.

-Notice of juvenile cases may be received and reviewed by Foster Care Review Office.

-Pertaining to the decision to transfer a case to juvenile court, judges may access sealed records.

-Effective August 30, 2015.

-Introduced by Senator Campbell

LB 482 – Change Provisions Relating to Juveniles

-Juvenile detention facilities must comply with 83-4125, ingress and egress restricted through staff -supervision only.

-Detention will be used as a last resort, after all community resources have been exhausted and the juvenile is a risk to himself or others in the home.

-Unless juvenile posts a risk of harm, flight or disruption to proceedings restraints will not be used in the courtroom.

-Fingerprints will not be taken of juveniles.

-County attorney must make efforts to find community resources before filing a petition in juvenile court. Failure to note efforts in the petition may constitute a defense.

-Effective August 30, 2015.

-Introduced by Senator Krist

Bills Did Not Advance Out of Committee

LB 12 – Medicaid Suspension

-Medicaid would be suspended, rather than terminated, while individual is incarcerated.

-Introduced by Senator Krist

LB 13 Community Based Aid Data and Evaluation

-Common database would be created to evaluate effectiveness of programs funded through community based aid.

-Introduced by Senator Krist

LB 25  Extension of Juvenile Jurisdiction

-Juvenile court jurisdiction is extended to youth charged with offenses under subdivisions (1), (2), (3)(b) and (4) of section 43-247 if the youth was under 18 at the time of the offense.

-All parties involved must consent.

-The court must disclose the length of the extension and the treatment to be provided if jurisdiction is extended.

-Introduced by Senator Krist

Bills Amended Into Other Bills

LB 212 – Limit Restraints in Juvenile Court

-When a juvenile appears before the juvenile court, unless necessary to prevent physical harm, all restraints (hand cuffs, shackles, straightjackets, etc.) must be removed.

-Introduced by Senator Chambers

-Amended into LB 482

Bills Indefinitely Postponed

LB 441 – Bridge to Independence

-The final hearing for children over the age of 16 involved in the juvenile court system shall be referred as the “independence hearing” and shall review access to services, plans for the future, and the Bridge to Independence program.

-Introduced by Senator Bolz