Kids and car seats headed for debate

A bill (LB42) that would require toddlers through age 2 to ride in a rear-facing car seat, and the use of a child passenger-restraint system for kids up to age 7, is scheduled for debate in the Legislature on Thursday morning.

The priority bill of Omaha Sen. Robert Hilkemann would also require children to occupy a rear seat, if available.

LB42 would require youth ages 8 to 18 to use protective seats or seat belts. 

Current law in Nebraska requires any child up to age 6 to be secured in an approved child safety-restraint device.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children should use a booster seat until they have reached 4-foot-9 and are between age 8 and 12. And children should ride in the rear of a vehicle until they are 13.

Emancipation for minors bill advances

A bill that would create a formal procedure for minors to legally separate from their parents or guardians advanced from first-round debate Wednesday on a 35-0 vote.

Omaha Sen. Sara Howard said she brought the bill on behalf of a constituent who found difficulty escaping an abusive family even after moving away from home. The bill would allow minors 16 or older who are married or living away from their parents to file for emancipation.

Twenty-one states offer pathways for minors to seek legal emancipation. 

— From staff and wire reports