Debate Transcripts

LB 1229 (1998)

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March 23, 1998


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Is there any discussion?  Seeing none, the question before you is the advancement of LB 989.  All those in favor say aye.  All those opposed nay.  LB 989 advances.  LB 1229.


CLERK:  (LB) 1229, E & R amendments first of all, Senator.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator Bruning.


SENATOR BRUNING:  Madam President, I move we adopt the E R amendments for LB 1229.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Question before you is the adoption of the E & R amendments to LB 1229.  All those in favor say aye.  All those opposed nay.  The E & R amendments are adopted.


CLERK:  Senator Bohlke would move to amend.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  The Chair recognizes Senator Chris Peterson to open on the Bohlke amendment.  (See AM3685 to LB 1229 on page 1264 of the Legislative Journal.)


SENATOR C. PETERSON:  Yes, Madam Chairman, members of; the body.  The amendment that Senator Bohlke has asked to withdraw and has substituted Amendment 3936, and so I would like to do just a little bit of background information for you on this.  Currently, the state of Nebraska does three scholarship funds.  They fund the SAP, the SSAP and the PEAP, and all of those have the same qualifications for students to apply for those funds.  Last year, LB 476, which was a bill on uniform licensing on Final Reading, was changed to add the term, "regional," to the




qualifications for students wishing to apply for the PEAP funds.  There was no public hearing held on this and, at the time, the promise was made on the floor that the three colleges that this impacted would be held harmless.  Those three schools, and there were only three that were affected by this, were the Bryan School of Nursing, the Nebraska Christian College in Norfolk and the Grand Island College.  That promise did not happen, so this year I introduced LB 1031, and after speaking the speaker and Senator Bohlke, filed it as Amendment 3620, which was adopted to 1229.  Senator Bohlke preferred to keep 1229, and so we would have put that amendment, then, LB...  it would have ...  originally LB 1031 in (LB) 1175.  After the Friday massacre, this bill was still left ...  the amendment was still left in 1229 as the amendment that was passed, 3620.  The amendment you see before you is a compromise amendment.  This gives the Grand Island College time to look at the process of accreditation, with a regional accrediting agency.  They are currently accredited by a national accrediting agency, but because of the addition of this single word, they now would no longer qualify for the PEAP funds.  Grand Island College was instituted in 1885, so it's not a fly-by-night college.  I have a series of handouts that we will be passing out to you that show how the funds are disbursed.  And I'm also going to have an interim study, looking into the scholarship appropriations that the state does.  I also will be handing out a letter to you from the Coordinating Commission, which is in support of this amendment, and it says, "Philosophically, the Commission favors inclusiveness versus exclusiveness in decisions that enable students to benefitfrom state student aid...  11 The PEAP postsecondary scholarship is $1.5 million this year, and will go up to $2 million next year.  Grand Island College qualified for approximately $41,000 of that, or 2.7 percent of that amount.  It affected 75 students.-.  But for those 75 students, it made a tremendous difference.Actually, this bill was originally about money and it really should be about access and opportunity and need and, most of all, it should be about our kids.  So I guess what I would like to get the point across is that if regional accreditation is not a feasible option for Grand Island College and they meet the requirements for the other two scholarships, then I'll come back to the body in the future.  In order right now to get federal money for any kind of financial aid, you need only to be accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S.




Department of Education.  Grand Island qualifies for that now and receives Title IV funds.  I seriously question, in the future, if they are not able to become regionally accredited, without changing their mission at a huge cost, if we should change the rules for one scholarship to limit access to funds.  I suppose what I'm saying is that if my kids are going to be left out of this in future, I'm going to be like a mama bear with a bad attitude.  Public funds are appropriated for scholarships to allow our children to continue their education.  And to limit that access, basically flies in the face of everything we've talked about on this floor, so our laws must be, fair and equitable to all.  Our students need more access, and they need their choices broadened.  Thank you for allowing me to use this time as an educational process on this amendment, and I would ask for your support of Amendment 3936, which is a compromising amendment, allowing two schools, Bryan School of Nursing and the Norfolk Christian College to qualify for the PEAP funds, and allowing Grand Island three years to see if they...  it is a possibility for them also.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Mr. Clerk.  It is ...  which amendment are we addressing at this time?


CLERK:  Senator, we're still on 3685, and until you ask unanimous consent to withdraw and substitute, that's the amendment before us.


SENATOR C. PETERSON:  Oh, I'm sorry.  I apologize for that.  Then I would ask for unanimous consent to withdraw 36...


CLERK:  ...  85.


SENATOR C. PETERSON:  ...  85, and substitute Amendment 3936.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Is there any objection?  Hearing none, it is so ordered and, Senator, I will assume that you've open on that.


SENATOR C. PETERSON:  Yes, I have, and I'll be glad to take any questions.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Thank you, Senator.  Is there any discussion on the Bohlke amendment?  Seeing none, Senator Peterson to




close.  Closing is waived.  The question before you is the adoption of the Bohlke amendment to LB 1229.  All those in favor vote aye; all those opposed vote nay.  Please record.


CLERK:  27 ayes, 0 nays, Madam President, on adoption of AM3936 as offered by Senator Peterson.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  The Bohlke amendment is adopted.


CLERK:  Senator Schimek would move to amend with AM3410.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator Schimek.


CLERK:  Senator, I have a note here.  Is this to withdraw this one?




PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator Schimek.


CLERK:  She wants to withdraw.


SENATOR SCHIMEK:  Yes, thank you, Madam President, members of the body.  I am bringing to you essentially what has been...


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Excuse me, Senator, the first amendment is withdrawn and we will move to...




PRESIDENT ROBAK:  ...  it's the second Schimek amendment.


CLERK:  I'm sorry, Senator, 3974, is that where you want to go?


SENATOR SCHIMEK:  That is correct.


CLERK:  Thank you.  (AM3974 is found on page 1265 of the Legislative Journal.)




PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator Schimek, you may open on your






SENATOR SCHIMEK:  Thank you, Madam President, members of the body.  What I am bringing to you essentially is LB 50 as introduced, not this year, but last year to the Education Committee and let me tell you that the bill has a little bit more history than that.  The year prior to that it was LB 47 and it actually got to the floor of the body that year and we began discussing it, but we did run out of time.  The bill languished and it was not my priority bill that year and we did not adopt it.  Last year it got caught, I think you could say, behind 806 and did not get out of committee, and this year the committee did just advance it recently and it, to me, I think is an issue that probably everybody can relate to.  What happened ...  what the bill does essentially is says that if a child who is four years of age has a birthday after the cutoff date of October 15th to enter kindergarten and that birthday is somewhere between October 16th and February 1st, then that child could be, if the local school district so chose, that child could be assessed to see if that child is ready to enter kindergarten or not.  Now this fits I think very well on this bill because we're talking about gifted children on this bill and essentially we're talking about children who have the intellectual and emotional development to enter kindergarten.  Up until 1993 that was state policy.  We did allow school districts to offer assessment tools and to test children.  The last year that policy was in place we had statewide about a hundred children that were tested at the request of their parents.  Of those 100 children, only about 50 were actually admitted early to kindergarten and it is my understanding that the districts could ask the parents to pay for those assessments and the parents are willing to do that.  What this bill does then is goes back to that policy and simply allows a local school district, only if it wants to , it does not mandate it, allows it to test children whose birthday fall between October 15th and February 1st.  Not every child is ready for kindergarten at age five even, but this bill only addresses those children who are younger than age five by the October 15th deadline and allows them to be tested.  I would be happy to try to answer questions on this, but I would just urge adoption of this amendment.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Thank you, Senator.  Senator Bohlke would




announce that the following guest is visiting the Legislature.  Jane Miller is here from Hastings and is seated under the north balcony.  Will you please stand and be recognized.  Welcome to the Nebraska Legislature.  Senator Hartnett.


SENATOR HARTNETT:  Madam Chairman, members of the body, Senator Schimek, could I ask you just one question?


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator Schimek.


SENATOR HARTNETT:  And I'm trying to get a...




SENATOR HARTNETT:  It would allow the school board or the...  or the school district either to charge the parents or not.  It would be an optional type of thing that could be....


SENATOR SCHIMEK:  That is correct, and the school district, if it doesn't want to mess with this whole thing, it doesn't have to.


SENATOR HARTNETT:  Have to.  Okay.  It sounds like a good idea and I just wanted to ask that.  Thank you.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Seeing no further lights, Senator Schimek to close.


SENATOR SCHIMEK:  Madam President, I think I'll -just encourage the adoption of the amendment.  Thank you.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Thank you, Senator.  The question before the body is the adoption of the Schimek amendment to LB 1229.  All those in favor vote aye; all those opposed vote nay.  Have you all voted?  Please record.


CLERK:  25 ayes, 1 nay, Madam President, on adoption of Senator Schimek's amendment.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  The Schimek amendment is adopted.  Mr. Clerk, next amendment.




CLERK:  Senator Chambers would move to amend.  (FA629 is found on page 126S of the Legislative Journal.)


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Chair recognizes Senator Chambers, to open on his amendment.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Thank you, Madam President.  Members of the Legislature, this amendment that I have is going to strike line 1 of an amendment that you will find on page 881 of the Journal or on your gadget.  It was added to the bill the day of the snow, which kept me from coming down to the Legislature.  What line 1 of that amendment that I would like to strike would do is to say that these programs for these youngsters may be provided.  If you adopt my amendment it will strike that "may" and return the language to mandatory.  It will be "shall".  Let me tell you why I'm saying that.  In being aware of the discussions that have taken place on this bill I have developed the impression that people are serious about this bill.  I have talked to numbers of individuals who have tried to do something along this line for years.  Former Senator McKenzie had worked in this area.  My impression, because of the respect that I have for these people, is that these programs were designed to benefit youngsters.  They were not for the convenience of school boards, school districts, teachers or anybody else.  They were for the benefit of children.  LB 1229 is to establish a policy, a state policy, based on deliberation, facts and an understanding and conviction that there are children in the schools throughout this state who need programs in addition to or beyond those which are given as a part of the core curriculum.  If all of those things are true, and I will accept for the sake of argument that they are true since nobody has given facts to prove that they're not, we should not alter this bill for the convenience of school districts.  Either all children situated in this manner should be entitled to the same services or they should not.  If they're not, the bill is a sham and a hoax.  This bill is a sham and a hoax if for once we have before us a measure that we could call an education bill rather than an aid to schools bill.  So if, as I have heard down through the years, there are disparities between certain school districts because of what some districts will choose to provide for the students and others will not, if you allow this bill to remain in its "hoaxish" condition, it will potentially and




probably actually create even greater disparities.  There are children who will attend schools in districts where these accelerated differentiated programs, that means those special programs for the kids who are smarter than we were when we were in school, and will provide those programs and other districts will not.  But at the same time that this is happening we, as a State Legislature, are to be concerned about all of the children in the public schools throughout this state.  If this is a good thing, if it is an essential thing, I don't see how we can provide it for some and not for all.  Senator Schimek's amendment that was just adopted is different because it really doesn't matter that much if a child, who at four, is capable of going to school does not start at four.  This, though, that we're talking about here is different.  This is a part of the curriculum which is to be in the schools made available for all children who are required by law to attend.  I think it is unconscionable for us to do that.  I do not believe that the amendment was offered with any sinister intent nor any intent to harm children.  This that will result from it may be what the philosophers call an unintended or unanticipated result.  It may be unanticipated, it may be unintended, but it certainly is avoidable.  My amendment would avoid that.  Either we are serious or we are not.  Either we believe all children situated a certain way should be treated equally, or we don't.  Either we believe in equal protection of the law for our children, or we don't and we should stop talking about that.  I heard Senator Schimek use that term I believe in discussing the amendment that Senator Tyson was trying to add to LB 989.  She said she thought it implicated the constitutional requirement pertaining to equal protection of the law.  If we can be sensitive to that constitutional principle when we're talking about adults who are working we certainly ought to be sensitive to it when we're dealing with children who have nobody except us to look to for the intellectual and educational nurturing which the-schools ought to provide.  It is one thing for us to say that they ought to learn, the children that is, so much about history, civics, mathematics, spelling, reading, literature and all these other subjects.  It's one thing to talk about what these children should learn.  It's another thing to look at those of us who have passed through the public school system and see if that that was called education passed through us.  Are we ourselves examples of what this education should consist of?  When we say




the children should know what happened in 1802, do we know?  if we don't know and not knowing has not hindered us, why does the child have to know it?  How much is 13 times 12?  Everybody would say, well, I've got a calculator or I can do that in my head, but it's not necessary because I'm not going to multiply 13 times 12 for any purpose, so we don't need it.  Why do the children need it?  it would be one thing if we were going,, to argue that everything that is taught in the classroom is for the purpose of stretching a child's mind, inspiring his or her imagination, encouraging and teaching them to think, and another thing to say that all that we're offering is of practical value; that they need this or they're not going to succeed in life, they need this or they're not going to be able to get a job.  In other words, there are representations made about education and what its function is which are not true.  Now that brings me back to this bill.  This is a new departure.  This is a bill which is not just saying that these programs should be made available as federal, state, or wherever money can be begged up would be made available.  A position is being taken by way of a policy determination, a policy expression in statute, that there are children who need enriched programs.  And if the Legislature really means what it says I don't see how we can leave it to the whim of a school district to decide whether or not a policy of the state is to be carried out.  It might be cheaper for a school to say, we don't want to teach our children to read; reading teachers are expensive so we're going to do away with that because everything I read says Johnny and Johnna cannot read anyway so our district isn't going to teach children how to read anymore.  And the Legislature says, okay, we'll say you may teach children to read, you may teach them to spell, in fact, everything is optional.  We won't do that and we should not do it here unless this program is to be accorded less dignity and, less stature...




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  ...  than other things that are a part of the educational policy of this state.  All the chickens have flown the coop whom I wanted to interrogate, so I will ask Senator Bohlke a question.  Senator Bohlke, my time is just about up, but when I have an opportunity to speak again would you be free to answer some questions for me?






PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator Bohlke.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Yes, I would.




PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator Don Pederson.


SENATOR D.  PEDERSON:  Madam Speaker, members of the body, Senator Chambers, I agree that I want this bill to be enforced for all of the children in this country.  However, I was concerned and the reason for the amendment the other day from the original bill was to make it optional with the school districts whether to do this, and my concern was from what I had heard in my district and other places about either unfunded or underfunded mandates.  They are not very popular.  And what I was concerned with was th13; that many school districts, particularly some of the smaller school districts, have suffered a lot from 1114 and I was very concerned that they would ...  they would not respond favorably to this gifted program if we Just said you have to do this program, because we've taken, in their eyes, at least, money away from those school districts and then we're saying, and besides that you have to do this program.  And I just don't think it's fair necessarily to the school districts to say that when you can't afford it you're going to have to have it anyway.  Now in North Platte, for example, we had a very good gifted program.  It went by the wayside because of lack of funds.  It seems that every school district chooses where they're going to have to take money in order to meet their budget concerns.  I know that ...  and it's a real concern because I ...  I had a call from a lady in North Platte who has two children that are four grade levels above the class that they're in and she is very concerned that there be a program.  I know there will be a program if this bill is passed, whether it's optional or not optional.  Now, honestly, as far as I'm concerned, it's the will of the body as to whether or not this should be an optional or a mandatory program and I can certainly live with either one of them.  The reason that I proposed this was because I felt that there was a segment of




our ...  of our society that did not want to have this forced down their throat and I also felt that school districts will get together on this particular program.  School districts will be able to pool their funds and make a program that will work in their particular area.  So I really...  I ...  I believe in the program.  I chose it as my priority bill, although it's an Education Committee bill.  I think it's one of the more important bills that we'll ...  that I will be exposed to this year.  And the thing that made me pleased about both this and the quality education bill, when I was running for the Legislature the thing that bothered me was that when we came to education all we were talking about was money, and this is a time when I'm seeing that ...  that we, as a Legislature, are concerned about the quality of that education and that we are exposing those segments of our society, particularly in this case the children who have a superior intellect, to an opportunity to use that intellect.  And so, as far as I'm concerned, I think it's up to the body as to whether they do want the proposal by Senator Chambers to strike the ...  the permissive part and to make it mandatory that the school systems adopt that program.  Thank you.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Thank you, Thank you, Senator Pederson.  Senator Bohlke.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Yes, Madam President and members, I will follow up with the comments that Senator Pederson was making in that in looking at if a school district only has to dedicate $1 and then they get $2 from the state, would they not be very, very likely to offer the program?  And, if they did not, would they not have to answer to the parents of their particular school district?  Apart from that, if we were going to mandate it, Senator Chambers, then I would just as soon fully fund it from the state, and we don't do that.  We do require the dedication of that $1.  And so I think the realization of talking to some schools and the ability to do that was either the thought of then fully fund it if we're going to mandate it, and I thought the chances of fully funding it, the chances of, you know, with $6 million there ...  there is some hesitancy maybe by some people the further we would increase that that maybe possibly the less likely to be able to get this done.  I think this is very important.  I think it's been a long time coming in the state.




As I pointed out last time, we are the only state in our surrounding area that dedicates no dollars for programs for learners with high ability.  And so looking at what was overall important, Senator Chambers, what we could get implemented this session, what was doable and certainly what was getting us on the right track, that is what you find contained in LB 1229.  How much time do I have left?


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  It's three minutes remaining.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Senator Chambers, I'll yield to you if YOU said you had a question you wished to ask me.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator Chambers.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Thank you.  Senator Bohlke, are school matters issues of statewide concern?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Yes, they are.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  And the court has ruled that many times.  That's why we can pass laws.  Could we abolish local school boards or school districts if we chose and merge them any way we chose by state law?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  No, we can't.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Why can we...


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Well ...  well, by state law we could if we change the law.




SENATOR BOHLKE:  I'm sorry.  Yes.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  If we change, if we ...  we can do with them what we choose under the law.




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  And the only thing we must do by the




constitutional requirements is to provide this, however the constitutional (sic) describes it, education to the students in this state.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  A free.  A free education.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Yes.  Now when we come to this program, are you convinced that it is a serious, meaningful program that ought to be available to all these children who might be described as high learners?




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  If there is a district that says it's not going to spend the money, are the children in that district cheated out of something that the other children are receiving?




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  But you still feel we ought to leave it to these districts, who are so unreasonable and narrow-minded that they're talking about unfunded mandates when they get more money given to them by the state now than their district gives into the state, they're going to tell us, because we don't want to be told what to do, if you tell us to do this we're not going to do it.  Do you really believe that if we mandated that they did it they would not do it?  Is that what you believe?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  No, Senator Chambers, but I, do believe that we have instances throughout the state right now where every school district does not offer every child what I would hope they would offer and, yet, I can't...




SENATOR BOHLKE:  ...  mandate to every school district what I think I could probably get everyone here to agree to.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Do you think therefore we ought to lower the bar and say, as important as we think this is, if a district does not want to do it, it doesn't have to do it, and the children thereby suffer?




SENATOR BOHLKE:  Senator Chambers, I ...  you know with the bill that we are trying to raise the bar and I know ...  and I ...  I understand where you're going, but by raising the bar are there some school districts that won't respond and therefore, for those children, not giving them that opportunity?  They ...  my answer to you is they will have to answer to their local patrons.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  I won't ask you any more questions because the time is probably up and it wouldn't be fair to ask one that you wouldn't have time to answer.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator Chambers, your light in next.  You may continue.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  I want to...  I want to do a little lecturing before I ask any more questions.  Is this my third time of speaking, Madam President?


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  No, Senator, it's your second time.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Oh, thank you.  Members of the Legislature, I do take this seriously.  It's never been satisfactory to me to say in a situation like this that the constituents of these school board members will take action if the school board members do not give this program.  Maybe the constituency says, it will cost us money so we don't want you to do it, and we think you got too many teachers anyway so lay some of them off.  There have been attempts to override this lid limitation which some people in school districts have not voted to do, so I do not have the confidence that some of my colleagues have that these school districts are going to do the right thing.  That's why we mandate things.  We are not the ones, as the state, who have to come begging, crawling on our knees, hat in hand asking these districts or these political subdivisions, will you do this.  That is the problem and that's why the state gets no respect from these people because we keep trying to put them to the status of quasi-states.  They are political subdivisions, creations of the state.  They carry out the will of the state, and the state has the obligation to ensure that certain programs are available to every child in the state regardless of how




backward and high bound the individual school board members are.  If a school district, as Senator Carpenter said, wanted to hire as teachers mule skinners, let them do it.  and that's all that their children will know how to be.  But those of us who take a more serious view of what is fair and appropriate for us, as a state, to do will look beyond what any school district might choose, what even the people who make up that district might choose, and we say, these children are not to be neglected and we are going to require that these programs be made available.  Many things are not going to give these school districts a two dollar match for every one that they spend, and if there is confidence that that money incentive will cause them to do it then let's just put it in the statute and make sure that they do it.  Otherwise, I don't believe you all are serious.  I think this is one of those bills that's just a feel-good bill that sounds good.  Those schools that are doing it will continue to do it and now they can get some state money which currently they don't get.  So if it's being done in Omaha, if it's being done in Lincoln, if it's being done in West Side anyway they can now get some state money that they couldn't get.  These other districts that are not doing it will, as Senator Pederson suggested and Senator Bohlke suggested, determine that we don't want to spend one dollar to get two.  There are programs the state will not put into effect to help poor people even though there's a federal match that gives them more than what the state would put into it.  That's not enough to give the state the incentive, and we're talking about the actual health and welfare of the children, the adults who would be affected by those programs.  I am not of a mind to let this bill go forward as a hoax.  Now does that mean I'm going to do everything I can to stop it?  Certainly not.  It just lets me know that I'm dealing with people who are shamming me and running a game on the public-.  and involved in a shell game.  They don't really believe this.  I'm not one who strongly supports these elitist type programs'...




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  ...  because when you give more money for these who are elite, those who are not elitist lose out.  But if this is to be done and made available to the children and I'm going to be a part of the Legislature that does it, I want to




guarantee that it's made available to every child and I will fight this bill within the rules, not to cloture, in order to got the opportunity to lambaste this bill, to lambaste those who feel that some children are better than others, some don't count as much as others and that they ought to be left to the tender mercies of school boards that have shown no inclination to do this anyway.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Thank you, Senator.  Senator Vrtiska.


SENATOR VRTISKA:  Thank you, Madam President.  After that speech by Senator Chambers I'm almost afraid to say anything, but 1 do...  I would...  I do want to make a comment, Senator Chambers, and this is directed to you.  You heard Senator Pederson's discussion awhile ago and I agree, it's hard to disagree with what you're saying.  There's no question about that.  One of the problems that you have to recognize is some school districts who have been pretty much decimated under some of the lids that they've been imposed on them are going to find a difficult time in order to find even that dollar to match.  The problem that I see and the real problem that I'm concerned about is are they, in fact, if you make them provide these programs, are they on the other end of the scale going to deny some educational opportunity to those who are not gifted?  I guess it's a question that, you know, it's really hard to even get up and say anything that we shouldn't support it because I know what you're saying has a lot of merit and we do need to help these kids that are gifted, but I'm...  I'm questioning whether will we in fact, where those districts that don't have the money, and where they going to find it if they're...  if they're held at a certain level, where are they going to find those dollars?  I guess, you know, the comment was if we're going to do this it should be state funded.  That would be wonderful, but I doubt if we can get that...  I doubt if we can get that kind of amendment tacked on to get it through.  I agree with you 100 percent that we ought to provide this kind of an opportunity for kids that are gifted and we should do everything we can and I would hope that the...on the bill the way it was written they would do that.  To force them to do it and maybe deny other kids an opportunity bothers me.  So I am trying to determine what is the best avenue to take and I guess I'm not going to take up a lot of time, but I will be willing to listen to more of your debate




and maybe before we're through I can bring myself to believe that we can in fact get every school give an opportunity for these kids under this program and insert the word "shall" if you -think that that is the only way we can get it done.  So, with that, I will...  I'll turn whatever time I have left back to you, Senator Chambers.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator Chambers.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Thank you.  Madam President, members of the Legislature, Senator Vrtiska, I especially appreciate what you said and if the educational opportunities are so tenuous in this state right now in some districts this bill ought to be killed.  If in order to do what this bill says some children may be denied the core educational opportunities, this bill should be killed.  It's a double sham.  And I talked about that on another bill, maybe it was 1228, about the elitism involved in this.  If it is too expensive to be done for all, it's too expensive to be done for any.  But here's what I was saying, Senator Vrtiska.  Some schools are doing this now but they're not getting state money for it.  If this bill passes the way it is now, those school districts that are doing it now, let's say they spend, I don't know how much it would cost per child extra, but let's say it costs, so it's easy for me, a thousand dollars for the child, so they continue doing what they're doing right now but for every thousand they spend that they're spending anyway they get two thousand dollars more in state funds.  So if the rich are up here and now this bill, the way it's drafted, is going to give them more money and no money to the poor schools, then the rich get richer and the disparity is made greater because the rich school, which can already afford to do this and is doing it,, is going to be given state money that can be used to enhance other programs and you're going to continue to have a growing gap between the haves and the have-nots.  That is why I said on a different bill we were talking about that I am not a fan of this kind of legislation, because I think it...




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  ...  does tend toward elitism.  But if the Legislature is going to do it we should make it mandatory, and if a problem is created let us then talk about adjustments.  But




to say in the beginning, when we're taking a new position and putting in place a I new policy, we're going to build discrimination into it, we re going to build superiority and inferiority into it and we're not going to take notice of those differences we see right now, it would be better not to pass the bill at all.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator Chambers, your light is next.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Madam President, I think about this parable that Jesus told and I may not get it right 'cause, Senator Vrtiska, I'm just a little exorcised this afternoon.  But it was talking about how when a person is bad and he or she gets saved, you go in and you got rid of theme demons, but before you can despoil a strong man's house you have to overcome him, so you capture him, you throw out the devils.  you sweep the house and clean it all up and then you go away from it.  Then the devil comes back.  He finds it swept, cleaned up, nobody standing guard and he comes back in with a vengeance and the second state of that person is worse than the first.  In other words, to make it more practical according to what's happening today, you administer antibiotics to a patient but not enough to kill the virus.  The virus becomes resistant.  The disease takes a stronger hold and the person is worse now than before you administered anything.  So, before we pass a bill that can aggravate and exacerbate a bad situation, we should not pass it at all.  If we intend to make a difference by providing to children that which they currently do not have, we should make it available to all children.  I don't care what these school districts say.  I don't care how they feel when it comes to making a choice between what is in the best interest of the children and the best interest, as these school people see, their interests.  The schools exist for the children, not the children for the schools.  The schools don't exist for the benefit of teachers, administrators, or school board members, but much of our legislation seems to be geared to that.  These people who sit on these school boards say, I'm not going to have you forcing something down my throat.  And the kid tells the teacher, I'm not going to have you telling me what to do, so the kid gets slapped.  Then we tell the school board, you tell us, as the state, you don't want to do this, so you don't have to do it.  We pick and choose.  And you know when we decide to give




ground and give slack?  When it involves the welfare of the children.  We talk about the children and we try to use that to make an emotional appeal as to why we ought to do something, but we will not go all the way.  If we mean what we say, why should some children be deprived of an opportunity because of where they live?  If a child has a jackass for a father, should the child, Senator Hudkins, only know how to speak heehaw, heehaw?  No.  We tell him, little brother, you are not a jackass.  Now you might talk like that in a barnyard, but you have people who walk on two feet that you've got to communicate with and you cannot do it with a jolly heehaw.  So, despite what your parents will do, maybe they want to put you in a closet and lock the door and feed you through a little slot in the door, but as a state we're not going to allow that.  They might say reading, writing and arithmetic are of the devil so you ain't going to learn nothing.  We, as a state, say we're not going to allow that, because sometimes it's necessary for the state to step in and do for those children what their parents will not.  Then the state says, we, as a state, are convinced that we're not even doing our job so now we're going to take the next step.  we're rising to the next level.  We're getting out of this narrow circle into the next concentric ring and this is what we're offering the children because they need it.  However, we're not going to offer it to all children.  We're going to say that the father who taught his little son to bray like a jackass will continue to do so, but we hope we can persuade him to stop.  They've shown no inclination to do it, and we should mandate it.  Madam President, was that my third time?


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Yes, Senator, it was.  Thank you, Senator.  Senator Schmitt.


SENATOR SCHMITT:  Yes, Madam Lieutenant Governor, members, I guess I just have a question on this particular issue.  I'm not sure that I am a strong supporter of the gifted education and one reason I say that is are these children really gifted or is it the parents that's really pushing them to become gifted?  And one of the reasons I say that, Just a couple years ago I was watching a TV program and they had a psychiatrist or a psychologist on there that was a doctor and they were asking him questions about this gifted education, and he had a daughter that supposedly was gifted and the question was asked of him,




would you put your daughter in a gifted school or in a class Of this sort?  And he said, no.  And the lady that was asking the questions asked him why?  And he says, let your children be children; they have plenty of time to be adults.  And so I just question whether we're doing the right thing here, with the gifted education programs, whether we're pushing these students, these children too hard, or whether we're letting them actually be children.  Just a comment that I wanted to make to the floor, and I will yield my time to Senator Chambers.  I think he wanted to talk a little bit more on what he was discussing, so thank you.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator Chambers, there's three and a half minutes remaining.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Thank you, Senator Schmitt.  Madam President and members of the Legislature, when I was in school, I was branded a slow learner.  I was a dumb child.  And nobody needs to tell me that adults will not hurt a child's feelings, and it's especially hurtful when the child has nobody to go his bond, when the child has nobody to say, this is not right and when you ought not to do it, especially when you let that child see how you do these other children.  Very few black children went to the school I attended.  On the other hand, when my son was.  going to school, I have three boys and one daughter, when one of them was going to elementary school he just breezed through everything that they had in the classroom.  He finished everything, so I didn't want him to go into a different class.  I started sending him school work.  Most children had homework sent.  I got books for him.  I got other material for him to work on while he was in the classroom.  There are other certain socialized socialization activities that occur that a child needs to be exposed to and, as Senator Schmitt was saying this doctor had indicated, children have forever to be adults.  Suppose a child learned three times three is cat when he's in the kindergarten or when he's in the third grade, and somebody might say, three times three is cat?  Well, it all depends on how this child interprets letters and numbers.  Maybe the child, when he or she writes it on a paper, will write 3 X 3 = 9, but to get it right in the child's mind three times three equals cat and every time the child sees nine that's cat.  We don't know what's going on in these children's minds.  We don't take the




time or show them the respect to ask or inquire of them what they're getting out of what we present to them.  We make their life.  We tell them, I want you to be a good athlete, I want you to be a popular girl, I want you to be a cheerleader, everything about what we want and we never ask the child, what do you-want.  We make these children think that when they get out of,- high school they are to make a decision that will determine the rest of their life.  In other words, when you get to college you select what's called a major.  You're expected to know what you're going to do with the rest of your life when some people who have been in the world much longer than that don't know what they're going to do with their life.  And we make children believe if they don't do this somehow they're deficient.  That is not good.  The system of education-that exists now has not even served us well.  We don't need to discuss, as I always say, in an academic or abstract manner what education...




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  ...  does.  Look at us.  Listen to these here things we say.  Read them there bills that we present and study to see how this bill is wrote and how that bill are wrote.  That's what we need to pay attention to.  We don't even turn a hair when we hear that on the floor, and we all are victims or beneficiaries of that kind of education.  And, by God, when them teachers tell you, do this here, and we choose to do that there, then she tells you, them is wrong.  And then we come on the floor of the Legislature and say, I want to find out why this bill is wrote the way it's wrote.  And we're the ones talking about education.  We don't know "A" from bullfrog, if you listen to us.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Time.  Thank you, Senator.  Senator Witek.


SENATOR WITEK:  Thank you, Madam President, members of the Legislature.  I've always had mixed feelings about the gifted education programs.  There are some programs out there that are truly accelerated programs where children who are capable to do those programs do learn beyond the classroom and they're in the classroom and they're kind of spinning their wheels, and I've always felt that that's a good thing to get them into a program that challenges them.  But my concern has been all along that we




are more and more not challenging enough of the children with our regular curriculum.  When I was back in school we had more of a tier structure even within the classroom on children that could learn at an accelerated pace, children that were at an average pace, and I understand that they don't like to do this anymore in the classroom.  But I think it makes a difference then in the entire curriculum when you don't have part of the class learning maybe at a faster pace and part staying at the average pace, and some children who may need some more help on specific areas of the curriculum.  So, to me, gifted is something be...  should be something beyond just someone who might need a more challenging or an accelerated pace, and I think more and more we're saying these children are gifted when really they just need to learn at a more accelerated pace than others and, yet, we're putting programming together and all these things for supposedly gifted children and a lot of times it takes them out of the classroom and they ...  they still have to keep up with their classroom.  So there's a lot of different ideas, I guess, of what gifted means across the state of Nebraska and, to me, as far as giving money from the state to the schools that already have gifted, to me it's not very good oversight in whether that's really a gifted program that deserves to be funded by additional taxpayer dollars or whether it's just a slightly accelerated program.  So when we're talking about not putting in a program at all, I guess I have to think, to me, you've got to've got to have a real high ability learner program in place to make it work and I haven't seen any evidence that this bill is asking for that.  So I'll continue to listen to Senator Chambers and his objections to this to try to push for programming that is truly challenging for all students and then try to get programming that is truly high-ability learner.  And I would yield the remainder of my time to Senator Chambers, if he'd like to continue.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator Chambers.  It's two and a half minutes remaining, Senator.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Bestowed upon me by whom?


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator Witek.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Oh, bless you, my child.  Members of the




Legislature, because my time is up, I appreciate the opportunity to "expatiate free o'er all this scene of" children.  Senator Tyson, look that up.  That ...  Alexander Pope, Essay on Man.  And he's going to "expatiate free o'er all this scene of man a mighty maze" yet not without a plan.  But, members of the Legislature, here's what I'm saying so I can try to get it clear.  I do not favor these programs.  I think they tend toward elitism and that's because I don't have confidence in those who make the selection and place these children in these classes, nor do I have confidence in what they're taught.  So I'm not a great fan of these kinds of bills.  However, if the Legislature, as a policy enacted into statute, is going to say this is what the state adopts as its educational policy, under that policy there's a recognition that there are children who will be called high learners and the schools are to give them enhanced programs, then that policy should he all-embracing.  It should not be exclusionary.  It should not allow a school district to exclude...




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  ...any children.  As the program goes forth what I would expect to do...  first of all, we know that it's not going to stick at $6 million.  It's going to increase the amount of state funds that will be expended.  I will be arguing that what you give to these children you want to make the state's pets is what you ought to give to all children.  If this is what the schools are capable of offering in the way of educational opportunity, it should be available to all children, not just those favored ones who are the teachers' or the state's pets.  And I'm not going to say some will not achieve way beyond the other students, but that's not going to be a massive thing and, if it is, it means there is a defect in the educational system and our way of determining what children...




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  ...  ought to be able to know.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Thank you, Senator Chambers.  Senator Bruning.


SENATOR BRUNING:  Madam President, members of the body, I'm




going to rise in support of Senator Chambers' amendment and I thought I'd briefly tell you just a quick story here about one student who's been affected by the gifted program.  This student went to school in the Lincoln Public Schools and I..  brought a yearbook picture of the kid.  Here he is as a seventh grader and you can see, as a seventh grader, he was real close to the fringe.  He got his picture taken in a Van Halen t-shiit.  Now you probably don't know who Van Halen is, but they're kind of a heavy metal band.  This kid was on the fringe.  He was about ...  he was about two shakes from being a real troublemaker.  So the kid ended up getting his picture in a Van Halen t-shirt.  Luckily, Lincoln Public Schools had a gifted program and so this ...  this student, instead of being in class where he was kind of a problem because he was a little bit bored, the classes weren't challenging enough, they had a gifted program.  They ended up pulling this kid out, gave him a challenge and he wasn't a problem, and I think all schools, all schools need to have that kind of a program.  Now this kid, what did he end up doing?  Was nice enough to lend me his academic letter.  Ended up graduating first in his class at Lincoln Southeast out of 400 and some kids or 500 and some kids, but part of that was because about the time seventh grade came around Lincoln Public Schools had a gifted program and this kid ended up not getting in so much trouble.  He started paying a little bit of attention and was challenged in his classes.  So I'm going to rise in support of Senator Chambers' amendment because I think it's one way to challenge ...  challenge these kids and make sure they do the right thing in school and have a ...  have this kind of a learning environment.  Thank you, Madam President.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Thank you.  Senator Witek.


SENATOR WITEK:  Thank you, Madam President, members of the Legislature.  You know, there's another thing to consider when we're considering high-ability learner programs or gifted programs and that's the availability of the space in a lot of these programs when people are competing even for some of these programs.  You do make them exclusive in a lot of cases and I think one of the things that I would like to see changed is that anyone who ...  who is eligible for these programs that we make sure that we have the space available for accelerated programming.  That's part of.  the problem in some of the




districts that have these programs.  And I say again I'm not sure if it's because of the curriculum in general has been ...  has not been as challenging as it could be and so there is more of a push to get kids into the high ability programs or the advanced programs in high school.  And, to me, what we should be doing is maybe looking at the curriculums in general across the school systems and making sure that they're challenging for enough of the kids so that when we do have high-ability learners that they're truly in a class, as Senator Bruning said, that once we give them this opportunity they're graduating in the top of their class in a lot of cases.  So I disagree that we should...  shouldn't...  should not have this.  I think Senator Chambers has argued that it's ...  we either have to have them for everybody for real or no one and ...  but I agree with him in saying that it is an elitist kind of thing in some cases and ...  and I don't want to make it a feelgood program.  I think we really do need to have these programs in place and available and I think if we're going to put $6 million into it you should make sure that the language is in here to do just that, to make sure that this money is actually going for programs for those children who have been high ability and that are not just in a program because the rest of the curriculum's not challenging.  So I agree that this is really something that I would...  I would be voting for the Chambers amendment, and I said that publicly so (laugh), Senator Chambers, you can have the rest of my time if you want it.




SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Chambers, you have a little less than three minutes.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Thank you, Senator Witek.  Members of the Legislature, I was touching on what Senator Witek wound up fleshing out.  That is if we have large numbers of children who are not achieving and a relatively few who are, those who are may not be gifted at all.  We could have a school system ,afflicted by poor teachers, teachers who either lack the will, lack the interest or the ability to impart information to our children in a form that will stimulate them, that will engage their minds, their imagination and give them a zest for learning.  They're not given that in the schools, and I don't




think you have to be a potential rocket scientist to want to learn.  Children learn until they get in school.  They're energetic.  They're enthusiastic.  They're curious about everything and they want to know everything, full of questions, until they get in school.  Then the learning stops.  And adults wonder I why they misbehave, why you can't discipline them, why you can 't make them do this or that.  Because they can think and we presume that they cannot.  When-you have a being which can think, who can think, you're not going to be able to keep that being from becoming restless when the mind is not engaged.  The mind is always reaching out to get something new.  Even the laziest person, even the so-called dumbest person is trying always to learn some new thing.  And people will learn if you leave them alone.  They just may not learn what we want them to.  It takes a certain amount...




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  ...  of ability to read pornographic material.  If you gave these students books that describe sexual acts explicitly, they would have hunches in their back, not from scoliosis of the spine but.  from always reading these books.  That's all they'd be doing.  But you're going to take a book, take all the life out of a subject, make it as impossible as you can to concentrate on, then order the child to read it while you thank God that you don't have to read it.  There is much that needs to be done in the core area of what the schools present and how they operate.  We spend the bulk of our time talking about bills, school bills, how are you going to put these money formulas together, what kind of benefits are you going to give teachers.  Now a kid cannot even criticize a teacher in the public schools in Omaha they want to say.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Time.  Members, before we move on, I just want, to draw your attention to the agenda.  There is one bill that is clean in this list of Select File bills.  That's LB 1173.  Before we move on to 1161 this evening, if that bill is still clean, we'll move that one.  If it's not, if it has an amendment, then at six o'clock or close thereto we'll move on to the General File agenda items.  Senator Chambers, you are recognized to close on your amendment.




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  members of the Legislature, figuratively, I wish I could close my fingers around the throat of this bill.  If this amendment is not adopted I'm not going to do everything I can to stop the bill from moving.  This will be another one of those pussyfooting bills where the Legislature says some school district out there doesn't want to do it and we don't want to alienate them so the child is cheated because of the way some adults feel.  Then we wonder why the children are out of control, as we say.  Let me tell you all something that is interesting to me.  I don't have trouble keeping children interested when I talk to them, whether they're little bitty ones or great old ones, because I know how to talk to them about things that are of interest to them 'cause I don't forget what it was when I was young and I don't forget what I had to do when my children were toddlers to keep them entertained.  I'm not going to talk to my children about Socrates and Plato, unless Socrates and Plato are the name of little mice.  Then the name doesn't matter, it's the object to which the name is attached.  So you might hear my children discussing what Socrates said to Plato and you say, wow, Ernie's children sure are smart.  You don't take the time to find out that Socrates was a mouse and Plato was a mouse.  So we jump to conclusions and we don't pay attention.  A lot of times these days if you pick up the newspaper you see where kids have committed suicide and you will read where parents, friends and others will say, why did that child do it; he was a popular athlete; all of the kids liked him.  Or, she was popular; she was very intelligent; at the top of her class; had everything to live for and they chose to check out; why?  Because they were not allowed to live their life the way they wanted to.  Their parents said, this is what you're going to do.  Teachers said, that's what you're going to do.  A child comes home with an average of 90 and the parents are not satisfied, so next semester the child comes home with an average of 95 and the parents are not satisfied.  So the next term the child comes home with an average of 100 and the parents are not satisfied because they say, why did it take you so long.  You cannot please these people.  You cannot satisfy them.  They have failed.  They have failed in their own life because they departed from those things that meant something to them.  They have failed to give an example to their children so they're going to live all of those failures out through their children.  Vicariously, they're going to try to make their child be all the




things they not only were not but are not now, and the child is going to suffer and the child is going to say, is this all there is, is this all there is; then it's not enough to keep me here.  And they might find their child dangling from a rope or the subject of an overdose or a pistol.  We have more than one way to kill our children and when you kill the hope that's in a child you have, in effect, killed the child and it's just a short time before the body follows.  We crush their spirits.  We dictate these things.  We determine what we think is so good and, yet, if you look at us, we're not doing it.  We have the opportunity to go to libraries.  We can expand our horizons as much as we want to and we don't even read the bills that constitute our job that we ask people to give to us.  And we're going to talk about enhanced education?  I look at us to see if we're the example.  The tree is known by the fruit...




SENATOR CHAMBERS: bears.  Could we present ourselves to our children in the way we do things and say, this is what I want you to grow up to be; this is the way I want you to use the language when you speak?  No, we say, don't do like I do; I can't spell, but you spell; my grammar's atrocious but you learn grammar; I'm afraid to speak in public, but you learn how to speak in public.  And the child says, this is the adult, this is my father, this is my teacher, this is my minister, and they cannot show me what I should do.  Then they disregard us, as they should.  I would ask for a call of the house.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  There's been a request for a call of the house.  Would all those in favor of placing the call ...  house under call vote aye; all those opposed vote nay...  Record, Mr. Clerk.


CLERK:  13 ayes, 0 nays, Mr. President, to place the house under call.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  The house is under call.  Would all unexcused members please return to the Chamber and record your presence.  Would all unauthorized personnel please leave the floor.  The house is under call.  Senator Bohlke, would you check in, please.  Senator Maurstad.  Senator Robak, would you




please check in.  We're looking for Senator Schimek, Senator Lynch.  The house is under call.  Senator Maurstad, Senator Lynch.  Senator Schimek, Senator Brown, the house is under call.  Senator Maurstad and Senator Brown, the house is under call.  All members are present.  The question before the body is the adoption of the Chambers amendment to LB 1229.  All those in favor vote aye; all those opposed vote nay.  Have you all voted?  There's been a request for a record vote.  Record, Mr. Clerk.


CLERK:  (Record vote read.  See page 1266 of the Legislative Journal.) 17 ayes, 19 nays, Mr. President, on the amendment.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  The amendment is not adopted.  Okay.  The call is raised.  Mr. Clerk, next amendment.


CLERK:  Senator Bohlke would move to amend.  (FA630 is found on page 1266 of the Legislative Journal.)


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Bohlke, you're recognized to open.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Yes, Mr. Speaker and members, this is an amendment that simply on page 21, line 17, changes the date for...  from September 1st to October 15th for the funds to be sent out.  It's merely a date change that makes it more workable for the department and for the schools.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Chambers.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Mr. Speaker and members of the Legislature, I'd like to ask Senator Bohlke a question.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Bohlke, would you answer?




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Senator Bohlke, how will this make the disbursement of the funds more workable?  Is that what it would be?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  It would...  it would give more time to get the information together to put it out.  They actually feel that they'll be able to put it out in one payment to schools, and so




it allows the extra time from September 1st to October 15th.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Now which schools are going to get this money, only those that have a program operational with students in them?  I


SENATOR BOHLKE:  That's correct.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  So if a school district does not have such a program, none of this money will it get.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  That's correct.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Thank you, Senator Bohlke.  Members of the Legislature and to my rural colleagues and the troglodytes from the city who voted with them, if the Governor vetoes this bill I'm going to do everything I can to uphold his veto.  I'm offended at the last vote, not personally, but I've watched too much posturing from people who say that this high learning is so important, and I don't believe in it.  But if you mean it, you ought to make it available to all those children.  But you knuckle under to these little school districts and it's going to give me an attitude toward every bill that relates to these school districts.  I said I'll leave this one alone.  I ain't leaving the rest of them alone.  I promise you that, Senator Don Pederson and Senator Ardyce Bohlke and the Wizard of Harrison.  I think you voted no.  If you didn't, pardon me.  Senator Tyson's just following along.  I remember something from Sir Thomas More and the king was talking to Thomas and Thomas asked him, if you got all the people with you why do you need me?  And the king was saying that the nobles followed him because he was the tiger and they're the sharp-teethed jackals that run behind.  And the people followed because they'll follow anything that moves, but he wanted somebody who had the respect of the people, not only a man who did right but who was perceived to do the right thing.  I have watched so much this session that it's turned me off, because the ones who do the most pontificating are the ones who show that they don't really mean what they're saying.  I don't even like the program, but if you're going to make it available give it to all.  Now, Senator Bohlke has been frank with you all.  The rich will get it.  Jesus said, to him that hath will be given.  He'll get more.  From him that hath




not will be taken that even which he "seemeth" to have.  So you come in here, Senator Tyson, your pockets full of money.  They going to give you some money, or Caterpillar.  Poor man comes in here with nothing but a hole in his pocket and when he leaves here they even took the hole from him.  He doesn't even have the hole in pocket anymore.  Got nothing in his pocket.  May not even have his britches.  But this Legislature would be amusing if we weren't dealing with the welfare of children.  I'm going to listen for the rest of the session as we get up here and talk about we got to do this for the children.  We had to do Pap smears for women, which we did, and I'm glad of that, but that won't be enough, brothers and sisters, to help us escape the fires of hell.  I'm telling you that if I was a Christian I would go home and pray every night that child's insurance prayer:  if I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.  'Cause, Lord, I've been awful wicked today.  I could have eased somebody's pain and I chose not to do it.  I could have taken care...




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  ...  of those little children that you said of such would be the kingdom of heaven, and I want to go there, but I don't want to do what it takes to get there.  And all these righteous people instructing me who have no religion, no concept of religion, and I hear all of these high-sounding platitudes.  But if these are the things that you say you believe in they'll be the things by which you can be judged and I'd rather be judged on my record than on the record of a lot of people in here.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  At this point in time, we are going to go to (LB) 1173.  Mr. Clerk.