Staff Editorial: State Legislature on the right track with LB54

Bill acknowledges both the past and future for minorities

The bills and laws of America have shaped the country we know today. However, many of these bills and laws were not created with minorities in mind. Moving forward, Nebraska needs to make sure that all of its people are kept in mind and provided with the same treatment. In order to do this, a bill needs to be passed, securing minorities with the same opportunities as any other citizen of Nebraska. 

LB54 describes that systematic racism is deeply rooted in the American legislative system. This form of racism goes deeper than obvious acts of discrimination. Enacting a bill that provides racial impact statements for any future bill or law is needed. The legislature has a duty to reduce the unfairness in the criminal justice system and identify bills or laws that may get rid of, or reduce, those inequities. This bill will also help see potential issues or gray areas regarding minorities., provides the description of the bill, LB54. This states: “Require the office of Legislative Research to prepare racial impact statements for legislative bills.” Going into detail about what a racial impact statement even is, explains that racial impact statements are, “…assessments that help criminal justice policy makers determine whether pending bills, if enacted, are likely to create or exacerbate disparate outcomes among people of different races or ethnicities.” The enactment of a bill is when the bill becomes a law. So LB54, if enacted, will basically make it required to consider minorities in any future passing of a bill.

This means that any potential outcome for minorities, good or bad, needs to be acknowledged before a bill is passed. This detail is small, but mighty. A change like this one is something we might not know we needed until it is passed. Nebraska will benefit from this bill. The next step is this bill being distributed across the country. The people of America are all the same, and deserve to be recognized and treated as such. This bill doesn’t change anything. It just adds to the necessary steps of enacting a bill or law. 

If the bill doesn’t apply to you, the bill doesn’t affect you. There are no issues with this. LB54 is something that Nebraska, as well as the rest of the country, needs. Minorities are to be recognized as people too, as they have many obstacles, usually ignored and not specified in bills or laws passed in the previous. Unlike the past, America now is more inclusive than ever. With that being said, considering minorities in laws is a step in the right direction. Minorities can now be treated with respect and equality, with specifications in laws and bills allowing for equality and fair treatment.