On March 14th, LB158, introduced by Sen. Pansing-Brooks, failed to pass first-round debate. This bill would have ensured that youth are provided legal counsel anytime they appear in court. LB158 also stated that juveniles and their guardians would be informed of their right to retain such counsel as needed.
LB158 expanded on legislation passed in 2016 which ensured that juveniles in counties of populations 150,000 or more would be guaranteed access to counsel.
Those in opposition to the bill stated that requiring every juvenile to have counsel would break county budgets.
The cloture vote failed with a vote of 31-8, with 33 votes needed to invoke cloture.