Omaha senator filibusters Nebraska property tax bill to protest bill prohibiting trans care for kids

State Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh is taking aim at the lawmaker who introduced bill banning gender-affirming healthcare for children in protest of bill’s advancement.
The Nebraska Legislature stalled in talks over a bill that would ban gender-affirming care for the second day.
Published: Feb. 24, 2023 at 4:54 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) - Work on the floor of the Nebraska Legislature is at a standstill largely held up by one senator.

Friday, the Unicameral was offered a sort of truce — but chose not to take it.

For the second day in a row, State Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh of Omaha stonewalled LB147.

“You cannot stop me.”

She’s not against the property tax bill. She is filibustering because she has a problem with State Sen. Kathleen Kauth, who introduced it.

Senator Machaela Cavanaugh filibusters
Senator Machaela Cavanaugh filibusters

Cavanaugh promised to take every single bill to cloture, meaning hours of debate on every single bill that comes to the floor.

State Sen. Danielle Conrad of Lincoln tried to broker a deal, suggesting they just skip over LB147 for now.

“We don’t need to dig in here. This is not going to set some sort of terrible precedent. This is commonplace in our body to say, ‘We’ve hit a roadblock,’” she said. “This gives us a chance to remove the roadblocks — let other business proceed.”

Cavanaugh agreed to the idea. But the body voted against the compromise, 32-10.

“That will not prevent Sen. Cavanaugh from doing what she’s done on (LB)147, as long as a bill has the name ‘Kauth’ associated with it,” Erdman said. “It’s time for us to get over those kind of attitudes and feelings and move on.”

Frustration bubbled up among some that the session’s been derailed by controversial bill and stall tactics.

“I don’t care who started it. I care that where we are now is a mess,” said State Sen. Wendy DeBoer of Bennington. “We’re in a war here. This is what a culture war looks like apparently. I’m completely uninterested in litigating a culture war.”

But Sen. Cavanaugh’s not done yet.

“Take your names off of that piece of poop LB574. Talk to the speaker — demand good governance. Be better. Be who the children of Nebraska deserve because they do not deserve this,” she said.

Senators moved on to committee meetings Friday afternoon and will reconvene on the floor on Tuesday.