Friday, February 4, 2011

TODAY: Nebraska Atty. Gen. Jon Bruning, State Senator Mike Gloor spread HIV, hep C myths, stigma with proposed new law, LB226; Hearing: Room 1113, Nebraska State Capitol, 1:30 pm (SW corner of 1st floor)

Grand Island Sen. Gloor

Neb. Atty. Gen. Bruning

Well isn't that sweet. At a time when the federal Department of Justice is directed by the Office of National HIV/AIDS Policy in the White House to get states to review and remove HIV specific criminal laws, Nebraska is going back to the 80s to create a fear-driven, fact-forgotten law.Todd Heywood
Kellee Terrell, News Editor of reports the following in the Huffington Post:
Even though HIV and hepatitis C are not spread through the transference of saliva, that scientifically proven fact didn't stop Nebraska State Senator Mike Gloor. On Jan. 10, Gloor proposed a bill that would make spitting on a police officer a misdemeanor in his state, but for someone living with HIV or hep C, the punishment is much more severe.

The Associated Press reported:
The bill is one of five that Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning [402-471-2682 or comment here — Aksarbent] listed in his legislative package last week. Under the measure, assaulting a peace officer with bodily fluid would be a misdemeanor, carrying a penalty of up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. The offense would be a felony if committed by those who know they are infected with HIV, AIDS or hepatitis B or C. The penalty would jump to up to five years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
As of now, it's not clear if this bill has any real support from other state politicians to get passed. But understandably, just the introduction of it has upset the HIV/AIDS community in Nebraska. Jordan Delmundo, Nebraska AIDS Project's Grants and Public Policy Manager, believes that the bill further encourages misconceptions about HIV/AIDS. "[Blood, semen, breast milk, and vaginal fluids] are the only scientifically proven fluids that transmit HIV, not saliva," Delmundo told He added, "We all are for the protection of those who work in public safety, but this bill only contributes to stigma and myths about the disease."

Delmundo is also concerned because this bill undermines the work that the Nebraska AIDS Project does to educate the community -- for instance, the group just recently launched the Nebraska AIDS Stigma Awareness Project (ASAP). "Our laws and government influence how people think," he said. "This bill, as written, reinforces the exact negative things that we at the Nebraska AIDS Project fight against every day."
On January 12th, LB226 was referred to the Nebraska Unicameral's Judiciary Committee (402-471-2622), which, during session, meets on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays in Room 1113 on the 1st Floor of the Capitol. Mailing Address: Room 1103, State Capitol, Lincoln NE 68509

Hearings on LB226 will be held Friday February 04, 2011 in Room 1113 of the Nebraska State Capitol in Lincoln at 1:30 PM. Check here for hearing date changes.

Don't know who your Nebraska Senator is? Go here.
Contact information for members of the Judiciary Committee:

Sen. Brad Ashford (Chairman)
(Central Omaha from 39th to 132nd and Pacific to I-80)
District 20
Room 1103
P.O. Box 94604
State Capitol
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2622

Sen. Steve Lathrop (Vice-Chairman)
District 12
Room #2000
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2623

Sen. Colby Coash
(Northwest and South Central Lincoln)
District 27
Room #2028
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2632

Sen. Brenda Council
(Northeast Omaha, Cuming to Miller Park)
District 11
Room #1120
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2612

Sen. Burke Harr
(Northeast Omaha, Benson and adjacent areas)
District 08
Room #1115
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2722

Sen. Tyson Larson
(Cedar, Pierce, Knox counties and part of Holt county)
District 40
Room #1019
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2801

Sen. Scott Lautenbaugh
(Blair, Fort Calhoun, portions of northwest Omaha and parts of rural Douglas and Washington counties)

District 18
Room #1021
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2618

Sen. Amanda McGill
(Northeast Lincoln)
District 26
Room #1212
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2610

No comments:

Post a Comment