Native American missing women bill advances in Nebraska

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- A bill to help Nebraska policymakers identify the number of missing-person cases involving Native American women has won first-round approval in the Legislature.

Lawmakers advanced the measure Thursday on a 40-0 vote.

The measure would require the Nebraska State Patrol to conduct a study on missing Native American women cases and identify what can be done to address the problem. The patrol would also work with tribal and local law enforcement, Native American tribes and American Indian organizations as well as the U.S. Department of Justice.

The bill is intended to help officials identify the scope of the problem and any barriers to fixing it. The patrol would submit a report to lawmakers by June 1, 2020, with data on the number of missing Native American women.