Noon Newscast 2.20.20

Feb 20, 2020

The latest attempt to lower property taxes in Nebraska faces an uncertain future as lawmakers squabble over whether it would hurt K-12 public schools that rely heavily on the revenue. Lawmakers debated the measure for nearly three hours Wednesday but failed to reach a vote before they adjourned for the day. A leading supporter says she believes she has enough votes to pass the complex bill but cautioned that lawmakers need more time to discuss and understand everything it does.

Lawmakers in the South Dakota House have passed a bill that would make texting and driving a criminal offense. Current law allows a fine of $100 for highway drivers who text. The bill would apply the ban to all roads and anyone using mobile devices for social networking sites. It would increase violations to a criminal offense, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.

In Des Moines, a House panel tabled a bill yesterday that would ban Iowa health care providers from trying to change a child’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The House State Government Committee Chair says  people on both sides of the issue raised too many concerns about his proposal to advance it ahead of this week’s legislative deadline.  

Health officials in Nebraska are looking into a possible mumps case at a school in northeast Nebraska.  The Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department sent a letter out this week to parents in the Laurel-Concord-Coleridge School District about the contagious disease.  They recommend young people be immunized against the mumps.  They also said women who are pregnant and people with weakened immune systems are at increased risk of complications from the mumps.  The possible in the school district hasn’t been confirmed yet.  A health official in Wayne to Siouxland Public Media News this morning test results will likely come out early next week.  Also, she couldn’t confirm the age of the person potentially infected.