Attorney General Jon Bruning outlined his legislative agenda for this session during a news conference today, saying that he considered dozens of measures before narrowing it down to four.
“One thing never changes and that’s that criminals are always evolving and seeking ways to circumvent the law,” according to Bruning. “We spend a lot of time communicating with law enforcement, with sheriffs, with county attorneys, with state senators, talking about what we ought to do. We start out with dozens of bills.”
Bruning told reporters gathered in his Capitol office that he will push four bills in the legislative session that began Wednesday.
One will seeks to ban a chemical compound that often goes by the misleading name of bath salts. Rather than the soothing substance added to a bath, these bath salts are made from chemical compounds fashioned into an illegal drug that provides a euphoric high when snorted, smoked or injected. Bruning says the bill sponsored by State Sen. Ken Schilz of Ogallala will mirror legislation used to ban K2 or synthetic marijuana.
Another bill being pushed by the Attorney General stems from the notorious 2008 Caylee Anthony case in Florida. Casey Anthony was acquitted of killing 2-year-old Caylee, her daughter. Authorities accused Casey Anthony of hampering attempts to find Caylee’s body.
A bill sponsored by Sen. Tony Fulton of Lincoln would increase the penalty for concealing the death of another and for attempting to conceal the location of human remains.
A third bill, sponsored by Sen. Abbie Cornett of Bellevue, would close a discrepancy in state law regarding the serious injury or death of a child. Cornett points out that while someone convicted of manslaughter faces a felony, a person convicted of negligent child abuse, even if it caused the death of a child, faces a misdemeanor. Cornett’s bill would make negligence leading to the serious injury or death of a child a felony.
Bruning rounds out the legislative agenda with a bill sponsored by Sen. Scott Lautenbaugh of Omaha that would restrict the number of frivolous lawsuits an inmate can file. Patterned after federal law, the bill would prevent an inmate from filing a civil lawsuit at public expense if a court had determined the inmate had previously filed three or move frivolous lawsuits.