Tuesday, September 25, 2018
   
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Williams outlines 3 bills he has introduced

 Greetings District 36. Last week in the Legislature, we began committee hearings. I’m proud to serve on the Banking and Judiciary committees.

Many bills will come before all of the committees. In fact, over 450 new bills have been introduced in this short 60-day session, and each bill will get a public hearing in a committee.

Among the bills I have introduced this session are three of particular interest. I have introduced LB 1009 called the K2 bill. This legislation takes a new approach to removing synthetic drugs, such as K2, from retailers’ shelves.

I have also introduced LB 1083, the Next-Generation Business Growth Act. This legislation would create a strategic plan for our state in the area of entrepreneurship and economic development. This would give us additional tools to help grow our state and thereby reduce taxes.

I have also introduced LB 919 concerning the expansion of the use of problem-solving courts. Chief Justice of the Nebraska Supreme Court Mike Heavican recently addressed the Legislature during his State of the Judiciary speech. During his remarks, he talked about the need to expand our problem-solving courts.

For nearly 10 years Nebraska has successfully operated drug courts. One of the most successful drug courts is run by District Judge Jim Doyle of Lexington.

Drug courts recognize that these offenders need special attention to address their problems and return them to society. Incarceration is not generally the best solution.

Now that we have seen the success of drug courts, it is time to move forward by expanding into veteran’s courts, DUI courts and mental health courts. Criminal offenders in each of these areas have particular needs that may not be addressed by incarceration. Incarceration also has a high cost to the taxpayer.

A typical drug court participant costs approximately $5,000 per year as opposed to the cost of incarceration at $36,000 per year. Even more important than the cost is the fact that participants who complete drug court have a much better chance of returning to society in a rehabilitated and productive manner than those who are released from incarceration. I firmly believe that the expansion of problem-solving courts can lower the cost to taxpayers and improve the eventual results for the offenders. That’s a real win-win solution.

Debate continues on the floor of the legislature on many important topics. I appreciate the input I have received from constituents in the district.

Please contact our office at any time by phone at (402) 471-2642 or by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with your thoughts on pending legislation.