Forgive us for we have slacked.
Since the 2012 session of the Nebraska Legislature ended, we’ve neglected to keep up our daily posts on our new Legislative blog, State Line, launched earlier this year.
Bascially, we were just worn out. So we took a couple of weeks off.
It was a brutal session, with lots of late nights and lots of emotional issues in the last month. The session ended on a heated note, with the Legislature overriding Gov. Dave Heineman on issues related to immigration and taxation.
The governor fired back, saying the session would be remembered for raising taxes on legal citizens, while extending benefits to illegal immigrants.
Pretty blunt stuff. I’m guessing that the gov isn’t getting many golf invitations from state senators, at least for a while.
But, if letters to the editor to the World Herald are any guide, it appears that Heineman has a point in saying that Nebraskans agree with his opinion.
But, in case you missed it, the New York Times doesn’t agree.
It weighed in on the emotional finale over providing taxpayer-funded benefits to the unborn children of illegal immigrants in an April 23 editorial entitled “The Undocumented and the Unborn.”
It noted how a strange coalition of groups — groups that oppose and support abortion, and those that advocate for immigrants and those that usually don’t — combined to push Legislative Bill 599 to approval. Both Nebraska Right to Life and Planned Parenthood, for instance, supported the bill.
The editorial concluded with a rap on the conservative Republican governor, who has staunchly opposed any taxpayer expenditures for illegal immigrants. (The bill got around that by declaring that any funds would be expended on the unborn child, which will become an American citizen automatically upon birth.)
”Advocates for women and the poor are not used to expecting much in Nebraska, one of the country’s most severely restrictive states for abortions and contraceptive services,” the editorial concluded. “If devoutly anti-abortion lawmakers can decree that immigrants’ children are precious people before they’re born, maybe at some point they can extend some of their compassion to children who have already entered the world, and to their parents who lack legal status.”
“But that is not what the governor wants. ‘Nebraska will become a magnet for illegal aliens,’ he warned darkly in his veto message, pointing out that none of his state’s six neighbors were following its lead on prenatal care. For us, that makes Nebraska a beacon on the prairie, for which the governor deserves no thanks.”