State lawmakers push their legislation to the Senate floor

Published: Mar. 6, 2021 at 9:43 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The Nebraska Legislative Session for 2021 is nearing the halfway mark and several bills have already made it through the committee. Some of them include sports betting regulations and allowing restaurants to serve takeout alcohol.

Sen. Tom Briese wants to create rules and regulations for Nebraska’s casinos after voters approved them last November.

A plan for lincoln’s casino is already in place, but what goes on inside them is still up to state lawmakers.

“The mandate was that they wanted casinos and the property tax relief that they can provide,” Sen. Briese said.

After casinos were approved, Sen. Briese said it became a task for the Unicameral to regulate it. He said it’s time to deliver the will of the voters.

“They overwhelmingly approved games of chance at racetracks and by doing so they authorized sports betting,” Sen. Briese said.

Some of his regulations with casinos include no credit cards, designated areas for sports betting and not allowing prop bets on college athletes.

Sen. Briese said, “I think those are reasonable safeguards to have in place and I think the governor will appreciate that.”

Sen. Briese isn’t the only one confident his bill will pass as Sen. Geist said her takeout alcohol legislation has bipartisan support.

“I think as a body the urgency that I felt in trying to help our small businesses is shared across my colleagues,” Sen. Geist said.

Gov. Ricketts currently has an executive order allowing for sales of takeout alcohol during the pandemic.

But, Sen. Geist sees this as a long-term solution for small businesses.

Before takeout alcohol is sold to people it will come with a tamper-proof seal and requiring it to be as far away from the driver as possible.

“That language had to be put in there and that was specifically to maintain our highway funding and a response to the concern of drinking and driving,” Sen. Geist said.

Both bills will have to go through three readings on the Senate floor. If it gets through all the readings, it will go to the Governor’s desk.

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