The 2023 legislative session in Nebraska kicked off on January 4th and over 750 bills were introduced.
We'll also be working with the Natural Resources Committee and Appropriations Committee to shape the funding for trail maintenance and are on the lookout for any legislation that could benefit or adversely impact biking and walking.
Here are the bills we have our eyes on:
LB738 - Changes to E-Bike Classifications
Our Stance: For
This bill will change the statewide classifications separating pedal-assist e-bikes from mini-motorbikes. Why is this necessary? Decision makers at every level, from the local BMX track managers to cities, the state Game and Parks, need this clarification to manage their facilities better. We want to ensure legitimate, safe pedal-assist bikes don't get lumped into the same bucket as mini-motorbikes when facilities are choosing what type of bikes can have access.
LB645 - Provision Changes to State Highways & Roads
Our Stance: Against
This bill simultaneously calls for increased capacity for roads and ties project priorities to “volume of local average daily traffic and the value of goods transported” while removing language about considering the “well being of Nebraskans” (think pedestrian mobility) when prioritizing. This is concerning for any communities who have state roads running through their towns.
LB134 - Keeps Utility Poles Off Sidewalks
Our Stance: For
In the 2019 - 2020 session, a bill was introduced around utility poles, but didn't take into account the impact on right-of-way accessibility. Remember the pole in the middle of the sidewalk in Omaha? This bill requires all utility poles to comply with ADA standards.
LB39 - Requires Disability Impact Statements
Our Stance: For (Read full statement)
This bill would require disability impact statements in certain legislation and allow for cooperation with subject matter experts, state agencies, political subdivisions, and accredited academic institutions. Not only are we a proponent for policy supporting the mobility of disabled citizens, but it would also enable BWN to weigh in on bills that could put pedestrian accessibility at risk (like utility poles on sidewalks from 2022).