Nebraska Afternoon Summary 6/2/15
A referendum effort is underway that would allow Nebraskans to vote on whether or not the state should reinstate the death penalty. Aimee Melton is a board member with Nebraskans for the Death Penalty and says the first step was taken Monday when they filed the required paperwork with the Nebraska Secretary of State’s office. They expect to receive the petitions in about two weeks. They will need to collect more than 56-thousand-700 signatures to get the issue on the 2016 general election ballot. The group states a poll shows that about 64 percent of all Americans are in favor of the death penalty. Just last week lawmakers voted to override a veto of Governor Pete Ricketts that repeals the state’s death penalty.
A dozen individual health insurance plans in Nebraska are proposing double-digit premium increases for next year, citing higher medical and prescription drug costs and greater use of services. The proposed hikes would apply to plans sold on the health insurance exchanges created under the federal health care law, as well as individual coverage sold through brokers and agents. United Healthcare Life Insurance Company proposed one plan with a 10 percent increase, while Time Insurance Company is proposing a more than 32 percent increase for one of its plans. The rate proposals were posted online by the U-S Department of Health and Human Services. Rate increases were only disclosed on the website if they were proposed to grow by 10 percent or more.
The University of Nebraska Foundation has purchased an 895-thousand dollar house in Lincoln for the University of Nebraska president. The university said in a news release Tuesday that the deal closed Monday on the house. It is owned by the foundation and, besides future occupation by President Hank Bounds and his family, the dwelling will be used for events with students, university employees, donors and others. A Lincoln house bought in December 2013 to become the official president’s residence was later judged unsuitable and put on the market. It remains unsold. In 2012 the Board of Regents returned to the long-standing practice of using nonstate funds to provide an official residence. The university had done so for more than three decades until 1996, when a fire destroyed the home.