It appears the relentless, nearly month-long rolling filibuster in the Nebraska Legislature may soon end.

Just before the St. Patrick’s Day recess day, Speaker John Arch announced a course of action to address Sen. Michaela Cavanaugh’s disruption of the session. She opposes Sen. Kathleen Kauth’s LB 574 which would ban “gender affirming care” where children are given hormonal “puberty blockers” or surgical procedures to remove healthy parts of the child’s anatomy.

I am a co-sponsor of Sen. Kauth’s bill. I believe that it is important to protect children from irreversible, life-changing elective procedures that they do not have the maturity to decide about for themselves.

Sen. Cavanaugh has been filibustering every bill before the body because she opposes LB 574 and wants to delay its consideration on the floor. Since this bill is the subject of her ongoing filibuster, the speaker will put this bill up for debate next week, so the filibuster is actually about the bill before the body.

After this bill is heard, there will be other bills subjected to extended debate, but the reasoning for shutting down the whole body over LB 574 will be gone. I wanted to write about this news because I think the speaker has shown some good leadership on this problem. More will be required.

I also want to address numerous calls and messages I have received about this filibuster. People are justifiably concerned about our legislative rules that allow one senator to shut down the business of the people of Nebraska. A strong majority of senators are also concerned about this rule and many want to introduce and pass a change to the rules to prevent this from happening in the future. Our rules should be stable, but they should never stand still. I think a change is badly needed.

The question is, when is the best time to address what will be a very contentious rule change debate? I think the best answer I have heard is what every senator with a priority bill on the agenda will tell you, “Do it after my bill passes.”

The last thing a senator wants when their bill is up for debate is for the body to have just finished an ugly fight, with hard feelings fresh in senators minds.

It is important to remember that for the past five years or so, there has not been 33 votes in the legislature to end filibusters on a long list of things the people want — reducing property taxes, school choice, abortion, the right to keep and bear arms, voter ID, religious liberty, etc.

The governor’s priorities of overhauling how we fund schools and actually reducing the size and cost of our state government depend on having the votes.

Elections have consequences, and so far the consequences I am seeing from the 2022 legislative elections have been positive. It is my hope that conservative senators will hold to the principles that they were elected to champion. Many good bills have fallen short by only one or two votes over the last six years I have been in office. Now we finally have the votes to pass many of these ideas, if senators stick to their hometown values when it comes time to vote on legislation.

This year’s filibuster has made it very clear that our rules need to change. I think the speaker’s leadership thus far has been fair and thoughtful, but the patience of senators is wearing thin. I think the people’s patience is wearing thin, too.

Tom Brewer represents dist. 43 — most of the Sandhills — in the Nebraska legislature. Contact his office with any comments, questions, or concerns. Email, mail a letter to Sen. Tom Brewer, Room 1423, P.O. Box 94604, Lincoln, NE 68509, or call (402) 471-2628.

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