Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thursday Action Alert- Dump LB 1- the Nebraska "Safe Haven" Bullet Train


Please see these two action alerts on what can still be done about the Nebraska dump law, there is still time to demand nothing short of a full repeal/age it down to Zero!


Today, instead of working to (age) Zero out the dump law, which would save the next generation of kids the anguish of enduring the lifelong effects of child abandonment the Unicam took it easy.

Other than two resolutions:
  • LR9 - Congratulate Dallas J. McMurtrey for earning the rank of Eagle Scout
  • LR10 - Congratulate the Ewing High School girls' volleyball team for winning the Class D-2 state championship
and some legislative confirmation reports, (link opens a PDF) and votes, today's been pretty quiet. Not to fear though, legislators will still be paid, after all, the Nebraska constitution requires no final vote on the dump bill can be made before tomorrow.

Legislators are set to wash their hands of it during tomorrow's 9 am (Central) session.

Their dump law 2.0 is set to comtinue the lifelong damage to a new and younger set of kids, only this time, the kids will be a bit less likely to go on TV and say things like:
I don’t want anything to happen to kids like it happened to me,

Instead State Senators are counting on media-genic and silent little armfuls of cuteness 30 days old or less. Kids who later, as they grow up, could certainly give today's legislators an earful of what they think of having been abandoned with the state's enabling and encouragement, but for the time being, will be rendered nothing more than 'cute'.

As today was by and large little more than killing time for the Unicam, I figured I'd bring readers a little more of the flavor of yesterday's session via this article, Senators pass 30-day limit on first-round debate.

When I say they're treating this as a done deal, I mean it.

Senator Chambers:
A safe haven bill that will allow parents to legally abandon an infant up to 30 days old is headed toward the station.

And Omaha Sen. Ernie Chambers -- who Monday likened the bill to a runaway train -- sang “toot, toot” during floor debate Tuesday.

Senator Nantkes:
Lincoln Sen. Danielle Nantkes took a long-term perspective.

“A human service system devoid of leadership and appropriate funding ... over the course of many, many years brings us to this point,” she said.

“Those are not unintended consequences,” she said of the drop-offs. “Those are serious consequences.”

Then she pointed to the other problems facing Health and Human Services, including potential loss of federal funding for the Beatrice State Developmental Center for Nebraskans with developmental disabilities.

“How many task forces do we need? How many class action lawsuits do we need? How many Department of Justice investigations do we need?”

Senators McDonald and Preister:

Several senators also suggested that finding a real solution will cost money.

Many Nebraskans pride themselves on saving dollars, said Sen. Vickie McDonald, one of 16 senators who will not be returning in January.

“The biggest concern is that this is going to cost money,” she said. “So I challenge you to make sure you fund this program so we have services across the state for all our children who are mentally disturbed.”

Nebraskans want things cheap, said Omaha Sen. Don Preister.

“Our children are under siege and largely it’s because we are cheap,” he said.

“We closed mental health facilities to save dollars. Being cheap. Now we are looking at only a three-day (changed to 30 days) safe haven law. Being cheap,” he said.

“I don’t think being cheap is economical."
Senator Ashford:

The 30 days allows moms with postpartum depression to give up infants, but doesn’t interfere with the traditional system of legally relinquishing babies for adoption, said Sen. Brad Ashford, Judiciary Committee chairman.
As I wrote back on September 28th:

Nebraska can do better. All 50 states can do better.

Child abandonment is evidence of a severely broken system. Passing the hard effects of that down to children, those least able to cope with such is nothing less than a cowardly shirking of duty. It is the ugly admission that some people feel the problems are simply ‘too big’, and rather than tackle them, they leave kids to deal with the consequences, personally, as best they can.

Dump laws are intrinsically bad for kids. They are intrinsically harm based.

It’s time to stop mumbling about the possibility of coming up with ‘new and improved’ ways for the state to encourage child abandonment and instead realize that there is no such thing as a ‘good’ child abandonment law.

Now as we go into the very tail end of special session, it's time to let legislators know, 30 days is no solution, it's merely a continuation of very problems dump law 1.0- the original version that brought in the older kids exposed to the light of day.

Again, I urge you to contact Nebraska state legislators and remind them to stop burning what little time the next batch of kids have left.

Permanently Repeal the legalized child abandonment law, age it down to Zero.

Protect Nebraska’s children from suffering the lifelong consequences of being abandoned.

Here is the Nebraska Legislators main list (each entry has contact information & phone)


E-mail address for those that have them:

Adams, Greg -
Aguilar, Ray -
Ashford, Brad -
Avery, Bill -
Burling, Carroll -
Carlson, Tom -
Christensen, Mark -
Cornett, Abbie -
Dierks, Cap -
Dubas, Annette -
Engel L. Patrick -
Erdman, Philip -
Fischer, Deb -
Flood, Mike -
Friend, Mike -
Fulton, Tony -
Gay, Tim -
Hansen, Thomas -
Harms, John -
Heidemann, Lavon -
Howard, Gwen -
Hudkins, Carol -
Janssen, Ray -
Johnson, Joel -
Karpisek, Russ -
Kopplin, Gail -
Kruse, Lowen -
Langemeier, Chris -
Lathrop, Steve -
Lautenbaugh, Scott -
Louden, LeRoy -
McDonald, Vickie -
McGill, Amanda -
Nantkes, Danielle -
Nelson, John -
Pahls, Rich -
Pankonin, Dave -
Pedersen, Dwite -
Pirsch, Pete -
Preister, Don -
Raikes, Ron -
Rogert, Kent -
Schimek, DiAnna -
Stuthman, Arnie -
Synowiecki,John -
Wallman,Norman -
White, Tom -
Wightman, John -

-Lauren Sabina Kneisly

(Author of Baby Love Child
and co-author of Children of the Corn.)

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