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Escort service rules, abortion info bills among measures introduced

Escort service rules, abortion info bills among measures introduced

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Lawmakers introduced 42 bills in the Nebraska Legislature Thursday during the seventh day of the session. They include:

» Abortion information: Legislative Bill 300 by Sen. Bob Krist of Omaha would require videos of unborn fetuses be made available, along with other abortion-related information, on the state website. Clinics that provide abortions would have to link to that site. The measure is this year's priority for Nebraska Right to Life, which hopes the videos would discourage pregnant women from pursuing abortion. The bill sets out the exact language and the size of type that clinics would have to use for the link.

» E15 ethanol for Roads Department: LB 304. by Sen. Norm Wallman of Cortland would mandate the burning of E15 ethanol fuel in vehicles belonging to the Nebraska Department of Roads starting in 2014. The fuel contains a blend of 15 percent ethanol, typically made from corn.

» Simplified benefits: LB 309 by Sen. Kate Bolz of Lincoln requires the Department of Health and Human Services to simplify the process of applying for Medicaid, food stamps and other public benefits. The bill directs HHS to maximize information-sharing among benefit programs and to renew different benefits simultaneously.

» Escort service regulations: LB 314 by Sen. Mark Christensen of Imperial would set regulations for private escort services, such as requiring both the service and its employees to be licensed. The bill also would attempt to prevent such services from acting as fronts for prostitution by prohibiting escorts or their customers from engaging in activities that involve the removal of all clothing or touching while in a semi-nude state.

» Medicaid discrimination: LB 338 by Sen. Mike Gloor of Grand Island would bar health care providers and facilities from discriminating against Medicaid patients. The bill would make providers and facilities subject to disciplinary action against their licenses if they are found to discriminate. — Joe Duggan and Martha Stoddard

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