Nebraska advances bill to lay groundwork for suicide hotline

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska lawmakers advanced a bill Tuesday to lay the groundwork for an emergency suicide and mental health hotline.

Senators gave the measure first-round approval with a 41-0 vote.

Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks of Lincoln introduced the measure in response to a new federal law that will create a 988 number for suicide prevention calls. The bill would create a task force with local stakeholders to help the state prepare and see what resources are needed.

Some lawmakers raised concerns that the task force could eventually come back with a funding request, which could mean a new fee imposed on phone bills.

 

Two additional votes are required before the bill goes to Gov. Pete Ricketts.

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