107th Nebraska Legislature, First Session – LB 83: Public Bodies Must Require Speakers to Identify Themselves
The First Session of the 107th Nebraska Legislature convened January 6, 2021. Bill introduction concluded January 20, 2021. The session is scheduled to conclude on June 10, 2021. As of Friday, May 14, 2021, there are 12 days left in the session.
An updated chart of all First Session bills related to related to economic development, energy and renewable energy, government and municipal law, healthcare, liquor, real estate and financial transactions, taxation, and telecommunications is available here.
In our first update, available here, we addressed 21 bills from days one through five of bill introduction. In our second update, available here, we identified 20 additional bills of interest. Below is an update on a bill warranting particular attention.
LB 83 (Flood) LB 83 amends the Nebraska Open Meetings Act (the “Act”) by authorizing and expanding the use of “virtual conferencing” during meetings of public bodies, including during declared emergencies. In our last update, available here, we summarized the bill. On April 21, 2021, Governor Ricketts approved the bill with an emergency clause. Accordingly, it took effect immediately upon approval.
Prior to LB 83, Nebraska law allowed public bodies to choose whether to require speakers to identify themselves during meetings under the Act. Now, public bodies must “require any member of the public desiring to address the body to identify himself or herself, including an address and the name of any organization represented by such person…” (emphasis added). Public bodies should take care to require each speaker to identify his or her: (i) name, (ii) address, and (iii) the name of any organization the speaker represents. The law does not specify whether the speaker must provide these items orally or in writing.
This requirement applies to all meetings, not just those by virtual conferencing. The body may waive the address disclosure requirement to protect the security of the speaker.
All bills are on the Legislature’s website at http://www.nebraskalegislature.gov/bills/. Please contact us if you have any questions about these bills or any others the Nebraska Legislature is currently considering. Thank you.