LINCOLN, Neb. — A bill that would have required courts to appoint an attorney for juveniles charged with a crime has stalled in the Nebraska Legislature.
Supporters failed on Wednesday to break a filibuster led by Sen. Mike Groene, of North Platte, who argued that the measure was a solution in search of a problem. Lawmakers voted 31-8 to force an end to the legislative debate, two short of what was required to bring it to a vote.
Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks, of Lincoln, says she introduced the bill to ensure juveniles’ constitutional rights are protected. She says many youths don’t understand the potential long-term consequences of having a criminal conviction on their record, and they and their parents could struggle to navigate through the court system.