skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Black voters in battleground states are a crucial voting bloc in 2024; Nikki Haley says she's voting for Trump in November; healthcare advocates suggest medical collaboration to treat fibroids; distinct vibes at IU Indianapolis pro-Palestinian protest.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The House GOP moves to strike mention of Trump's criminal trial from the record, and his former rival Nikki Haley endorses him. Meanwhile, Ohio Republicans reject a legislative fix to ensure Biden's name appears on the November ballot.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

NE advocates foresee new voting-restoration law helping individuals, state

play audio
Play

Tuesday, April 23, 2024   

April is Second Chance Month and many Nebraskans are celebrating passage of a bipartisan voting rights restoration bill and its focus on second chances.

Legislative Bill 20 restores voting rights to those convicted of a felony upon completion of their sentence, eliminating the two-year waiting period.

Jason Witmer, policy fellow at the ACLU of Nebraska, said the change will promote success for formerly incarcerated Nebraskans. He pointed out it also will increase the likelihood of the state meeting the objectives Gov. Jim Pillen and the Department of Corrections have committed to.

Nebraska became the fourth state to join "Reentry 2030," a national initiative of the Council of State Governments focused on strengthening programs and removing obstacles for those reentering society after incarceration.

"The more somebody can have their rights in place for them, the more invested they are in the society," Witmer contended. "The more invested you are in your community and your society, the more likely you are to succeed. And the right to vote is fundamentally part of reintegrating into society. It's your civil voice."

Reentry 2030 aims to have all 50 states commit to improving outcomes for formerly incarcerated people. Nebraska's goals include increasing GED completion and college coursework by those in Nebraska prisons, and reducing recidivism 50% by 2030.

Pillen allowed the measure to become law but stated it contains "potential constitutional issues" which could lead to a legal challenge.

Nebraska's recidivism rate for those who left prison between 2019 and 2022 was nearly 30%.

Witmer noted it is at least partly attributable to the challenges people face upon leaving incarceration.

"You did the time, and then you come out and find out, 'Oh, I can't vote. Oh, housing is almost impossible to get. Oh, I can't work here,'" Witmer outlined. "Suddenly you don't feel like you're a part of any of this."

Across the country, 37 other states restore voting rights to those charged with a felony either immediately after incarceration or after completing parole or probation. Two states and the District of Columbia allow people to vote while incarcerated.

Disclosure: The ACLU of Nebraska contributes to our fund for reporting on Civil Rights, Criminal Justice, Immigrant Issues, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
Marine research on a recent expedition off of Santa Cruz Island in Southern California mapped the habitat of red gorgonian coral, sea stars and sheepshead fish. (Danny Ocampo/Oceana)

Environment

play sound

Marine researchers just wrapped up the first of three ocean expeditions off the coast of Southern California to map the biodiversity and support effor…


Social Issues

play sound

Michigan's population has hovered around the 10 million mark for the past 20+ years, but the state's latest report outlines projections of a …

Health and Wellness

play sound

As outdoor activities ramp up, May is a good time to think about observing good skin-care practices. More skin cancers are diagnosed than all …


The current lack of cohesive planning has made building new transmission lines difficult, prompting FERC's new rule. (Gregory Johnston/Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

A new step from the federal government takes a step toward modernizing the process for building energy transmission lines - while also protecting wild…

Social Issues

play sound

Americans got a bit of a reprieve last month, as food and auto prices dipped for the first time in 90 days. As Texas households continue to deal …

Black women are at particularly high risk of heart disease and stroke during pregnancy, which TaShenma Mack found out firsthand before the birth of her daughter. (Photo courtesy of TaShenma Mack)

Health and Wellness

play sound

North Carolina's maternal death rate is higher than the national average and cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among new moms in th…

play sound

The effect of technical glitches in overhauling the student financial-aid form known as FAFSA is still being felt. Issues stemming from a redesign …

Social Issues

play sound

A newly passed Connecticut bill will modernize the teacher certification process. House Bill 5436 is expected to make it easier for educators to …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021