Nebraska Freedom of Choice Advocates Fail by One Vote

Nebraska Freedom of Choice Advocates Fail by One Vote

LINCOLN — A last-ditch effort to revive legislation to repeal Nebraska’s motorcycle helmet law has failed in the Nebraska House. .

A supporter of Legislative Bill 368 filed a motion to reconsider Tuesday’s close vote to end a filibuster of the measure. Opponents of mandatory helmets came up one vote short of the 33 votes they needed to hold an up-or-down vote on the bill, which almost certainly would have advanced the repeal proposal.

Speaker Jim Scheer of Norfolk said Wednesday he will not schedule the reconsideration motion. The speaker, who sets the daily agenda, said he made it clear to his colleagues earlier this session that if a motion to end debate fails, the bill will not be taken up again.

Tuesday’s key vote came after lawmakers spent six hours debating the measure on the floor.

Sen. John Lowe of Kearney, the sponsor of the helmet repeal bill, said Wednesday he does not intend to challenge the speaker’s decision. He added that he intends to introduce the bill again next year.

Nebraska is one of 19 states that require motorcyclists to wear a helmet. Supporters of the existing law say it reduces injuries and deaths and decreases the amount taxpayers spend on providing long-term health care to severely injured riders.

Supporters of the repeal bill argued it should be up to adult motorcyclists to decide whether they want to wear a helmet. They also said Nebraska’s ban costs the state tourism revenue because some riders avoid traveling through the state.

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