Legislature continues funding Planned Parenthood


In a dramatic turn of events at the State Capitol on May 3, the Legislature repealed pro-life language from the statewide budget proposal that would have shifted taxpayer dollars away from abortion clinics and toward comprehensive healthcare centers.

Over the last two weeks, the Nebraska legislature debated a provision in the statewide budget that would have prioritized the distribution of federal funds for Title X, a program of the Department of Health and Human Services that deals with “family planning” services. The prioritization ensured that the federal funds would be primarily directed towards clinics offering the most comprehensive healthcare services to women and men, and directed away from the abortion business, Planned Parenthood.

After three attempts, the legislature finally conceded to removing the prioritization language, thereby ensuring that Planned Parenthood continues to be the key recipient of Title X funding.

In the first round of debate, Sen. Paul Schumacher (Columbus) introduced an amendment to strike the prioritization language. After nearly 8 hours of debate, the amendment failed, only receiving 17 of the 25 votes necessary for its adoption.

Concerns were also raised by some Senators that a few of their rural Title X providers would lose funding under the prioritization scheme. This concern would have been addressed by a pro-life amendment that was filed and championed by Sen. Joni Craighead (Omaha).

But before Sen. Craighead’s amendment was debated in the second round of debate, another amendment was filed and considered by Sen. John Stinner (Gering). While Sen. Stinner initially voted to include the pro-life prioritization language in the budget, he explained that he was blindsided by the proposal and was unaware of its implications.

After another segment of extensive debate, Sen. Stinner’s amendment was defeated, falling two votes short of the necessary 25-vote threshold.

However, Sen. Kate Bolz (Lincoln) filed a “motion to reconsider” which allowed for more time to debate the issue and take another vote on Sen. Stinner’s amendment. This motion provided the necessary time to persuade two more Senators to vote for the amendment and against the prioritization scheme.

During the reconsideration motion debate, Sen. Mike Groene (North Platte) changed votes. He initially opposed to the amendment, but later voted in favor of the amendment to strike the prioritization language.

Because the amendment striking the prioritization language was adopted, Sen. Craighead’s amendment to address rural healthcare clinic concerns became moot. Nevertheless, it was briefly discussed and a number of pro-life Senators gave it their support.

While the pro-life language to direct taxpayer dollars away from Planned Parenthood ultimately failed, the NCC is thankful to advocates across the state who, on short notice, directly contacted their State Senator. These outreach efforts informed Senators about the their constituent’s views, especially as a contrast to Planned Parenthood’s political messaging machine which was on full display. I have no doubt your voice was heard!

If you have not yet contacted your Senator to thank them for defending pro-life values, please do so by e-mailing or calling the Senators listed below who voted “No.” If you do not know your State Senator, visit www.nebraskalegislature.gov/senators/senator.find.php.

To receive timely updates and calls to action, please join our Catholic Advocacy Network of Nebraska (CANN) by visiting www.necatholic.org.

The final vote count for the amendment to strike out the pro-life prioritization language is as follows:

Voting “Yes”: Sens. Roy Baker, Carol Blood, Kate Bolz, Ernie Chambers. Sue Crawford, Laura Ebke, Mike Groene, Matt Hansen, Burke Harr, Sarah Howard, Rick Kolowski, Mark Kolterman, Bob Krist, John McCollister, Adam Morfeld, Patty Pansing Brooks, Dan Quick, Jim Scheer, Paul Schumacher, John Stinner, Tony Vargas, Lynn Walz, Justin Wayne, Matt Williams, and Anna Wishart.

Voting “No”: Sens. Joni Albrecht, Bruce Bostelman, Lydia Brasch, Tom Briese, Bob Clements, Joni Craighead, Steve Erdman, Suzanne Geist, Steve Halloran, Mike Hilgers, Bob Hilkemann, John Kuehn, Brett Lindstrom, Lou Ann Linehan, John Lowe, John Murante, Jim Smith, and Dan Watermeier.

Legislature continues funding Planned Parenthood                                                                           

       

Legislature continues funding Planned Parenthood

Details
Friday, 12 May 2017

By Tom Venzor,Nebraska Catholic Conference  

In a dramatic turn of events at the State Capitol on May 3, the Legislature repealed pro-life language from the statewide budget proposal that would have shifted taxpayer dollars away from abortion clinics and toward comprehensive healthcare centers.

Over the last two weeks, the Nebraska legislature debated a provision in the statewide budget that would have prioritized the distribution of federal funds for Title X, a program of the Department of Health and Human Services that deals with “family planning” services. The prioritization ensured that the federal funds would be primarily directed towards clinics offering the most comprehensive healthcare services to women and men, and directed away from the abortion business, Planned Parenthood.

After three attempts, the legislature finally conceded to removing the prioritization language, thereby ensuring that Planned Parenthood continues to be the key recipient of Title X funding.

In the first round of debate, Sen. Paul Schumacher (Columbus) introduced an amendment to strike the prioritization language. After nearly 8 hours of debate, the amendment failed, only receiving 17 of the 25 votes necessary for its adoption.

Concerns were also raised by some Senators that a few of their rural Title X providers would lose funding under the prioritization scheme. This concern would have been addressed by a pro-life amendment that was filed and championed by Sen. Joni Craighead (Omaha).

But before Sen. Craighead’s amendment was debated in the second round of debate, another amendment was filed and considered by Sen. John Stinner (Gering). While Sen. Stinner initially voted to include the pro-life prioritization language in the budget, he explained that he was blindsided by the proposal and was unaware of its implications.

After another segment of extensive debate, Sen. Stinner’s amendment was defeated, falling two votes short of the necessary 25-vote threshold.

However, Sen. Kate Bolz (Lincoln) filed a “motion to reconsider” which allowed for more time to debate the issue and take another vote on Sen. Stinner’s amendment. This motion provided the necessary time to persuade two more Senators to vote for the amendment and against the prioritization scheme.

During the reconsideration motion debate, Sen. Mike Groene (North Platte) changed votes. He initially opposed to the amendment, but later voted in favor of the amendment to strike the prioritization language.

Because the amendment striking the prioritization language was adopted, Sen. Craighead’s amendment to address rural healthcare clinic concerns became moot. Nevertheless, it was briefly discussed and a number of pro-life Senators gave it their support.

While the pro-life language to direct taxpayer dollars away from Planned Parenthood ultimately failed, the NCC is thankful to advocates across the state who, on short notice, directly contacted their State Senator. These outreach efforts informed Senators about the their constituent’s views, especially as a contrast to Planned Parenthood’s political messaging machine which was on full display. I have no doubt your voice was heard!

If you have not yet contacted your Senator to thank them for defending pro-life values, please do so by e-mailing or calling the Senators listed below who voted “No.” If you do not know your State Senator, visit www.nebraskalegislature.gov/senators/senator.find.php.

To receive timely updates and calls to action, please join our Catholic Advocacy Network of Nebraska (CANN) by visiting www.necatholic.org.

The final vote count for the amendment to strike out the pro-life prioritization language is as follows:

Voting “Yes”: Sens. Roy Baker, Carol Blood, Kate Bolz, Ernie Chambers. Sue Crawford, Laura Ebke, Mike Groene, Matt Hansen, Burke Harr, Sarah Howard, Rick Kolowski, Mark Kolterman, Bob Krist, John McCollister, Adam Morfeld, Patty Pansing Brooks, Dan Quick, Jim Scheer, Paul Schumacher, John Stinner, Tony Vargas, Lynn Walz, Justin Wayne, Matt Williams, and Anna Wishart.

Voting “No”: Sens. Joni Albrecht, Bruce Bostelman, Lydia Brasch, Tom Briese, Bob Clements, Joni Craighead, Steve Erdman, Suzanne Geist, Steve Halloran, Mike Hilgers, Bob Hilkemann, John Kuehn, Brett Lindstrom, Lou Ann Linehan, John Lowe, John Murante, Jim Smith, and Dan Watermeier.