Senator Brasch Comments on Senator Chambers Statements About Law Enforcement


Thursday debate was largely consumed with recent, unacceptable statements made by Senator Ernie Chambers regarding law enforcement. During a Judiciary Committee Hearing held on March 20th for LB635 providing an additional location where a concealed carry permitholder has the right to carry a concealed handgun, Senator Chambers went on a reckless diatribe equating law enforcement officers with the terrorist group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). While Senator Chambers’ comments can sometimes be hyperbolic and politically charged, this time he went too far. Multiple times I urged Senator Chambers to apologize for equating law enforcement with ISIS and statements which could be taken to incite violence and retaliation against law enforcement. Many others Senators did the same.

 

While many Senators invoked the importance of free speech, I made it clear our liberty of free speech is not about the ability to say whatever we want whenever we want. Rather, our liberty of free speech is connected to the exchange of ideas in pursuit of the truth. With regards to politics, our speech should promote truth for the common good. Additionally, our exercise of free speech can promote good actions, or have consequences inciting harmful reactions.

 

In this instance, while citing specific cases of abuse of law enforcement power, Senator Chambers did a great disservice to the overwhelming majority of our men and women in blue who serve us well. Although I certainly respect the good things Senator Chambers has done throughout his years of Legislative service, Senator Chambers was out of line and should offer an apology for his infuriating comments. On that note, I want to take a special opportunity to thank all of our law enforcement for their selfless and virtuous service to our communities and state.

 

The Legislature also debated important issues regarding motorcycle helmet laws, term limits, and organ donation. LB31 would have repealed the motorcycle helmet law, providing the operator the choice whether to wear a helmet. LB31 fell short by nine votes to end debate and provide a vote for advancement.

 

LR7CA gives voters the opportunity to decide in the 2016 general election whether to extend a state senator’s term from four to six years. The committee amendment offers the question whether state senator’s term limits should be increased from two to three four-year terms. This sparked a discussion over issues such as frequent senator turnover, loss of institutional knowledge, issue familiarity, and the desires of the citizens. LR7CA will receive additional floor debate before it is voted on.

 

LB47 also received significant attention. LB47 requires applicants for drivers licenses or identification cards to answer the question whether to place their name on the donor registry and donate their organs and tissues at death. Currently, this question is optional. The debate focused on the need for increased organ donors and whether LB47 violates the constitutional right of free speech by mandating an answer regarding organ donation to obtain a drivers license or identification card.

 

As always, please contact me, administrative aide, Katie Wattermann, or legislative aide, Tom Venzor, with questions or thoughts at (402)471-2728 or e-mail at lbrasch@leg.ne.gov.

 

Keeping the Good Life Growing in Nebraska,

Senator Lydia Brasch, District 16

Senator Lydia Brasch

Senator Lydia Brasch

About katcountryhub
I am a graduate of Northeast Community College with a degree in journalism. I am married to Jeff Gilliland. We have two grown children, Justin and Whitney and four grandchildren, Grayce, Grayhm, Charli and Penelope. I will be covering Lyons, Decatur, Bancroft and Rosalie and am hoping to expand my horizons as time progresses!

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