LINCOLN — A wave of alternative Nebraska license plates may be on the way.
Want to highlight your affection for sandhill cranes or turtles? Advance the causes of neutering pets or checking for prostate cancer? Honor veterans or support the troops?
On Tuesday, the Legislature’s Transportation and Telecommunications Committee heard about all those license plate ideas and more — including a proposal to limit the state to just one license plate.
New Nebraska plates now pop up often, because organizations can have a specialty plate created with 250 applications and DMV approval. People who want the plates pay an extra fee.
State Sen. Robert Hilkemann of Omaha has introduced LB 38, which would require just one license plate on a vehicle, as is the case in 19 states. It drew opposition from the Omaha Police Department, which argued that a single plate makes it more difficult to identify cars.
But most of the license plate bills this year are looking to expand Nebraska’s lineup of specialty plates:
Sandhill cranes, bighorn sheep and cutthroat trout For wildlife conservation, up to three license plates would feature cranes, sheep and trout, under LB 128, introduced by Sen. Dan Hughes of Venango.
Three-quarters of the $40 fee would go to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s Educational Fund. Some proponents said the money would be better put to its Wildlife Conservation Fund.
There was debate from proponents on the best animals to be featured the plates. Testifiers from the Nebraska Wildlife Federation and the Sierra Club said the cutthroat trout is not native to Nebraska, but the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission disagreed.
Spay and neuter your pets Presumably, this one would have extremely cute dogs and cats on it.
“LB 546 is for all of our four-legged constituents,” said Lincoln Sen. Anna Wishart, who introduced the bill.
Funds raised would go toward a new low-income spay and neuter program.
Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh, who said she has the immensely popular mountain lion conservation plate, would like to see more animal plates, “furry and otherwise.”
LB 691 would send funds to the Wildlife Conservation Fund under an amendment to the introduced version of the bill, which would create a new fund for turtles.
Prostate cancer awareness
LB 215 was suggested to Omaha Sen. Lou Ann Linehan by a constituent.
“There are usually no symptoms of early stage prostate cancer,” Linehan said, “which makes it extremely important that men talk to their doctors about prostate cancer after reaching the age of 40.”
Nebraska currently has breast cancer awareness plates.
Sen. Carol Blood is proposing six new plates in LB 138.
Four plates would be for veterans of Iraq, Afghanistan, the Persian Gulf War and Vietnam. Blood also said an amendment to the bill would add a fifth plate for veterans of the global war on terror. The funds from those plates would go to the Nebraska Veteran Cemetery System Operation Fund.
She also proposes a “support our troops” plate. Funds from that plate would go to a new fund for a veteran employment program.
In other license plate legislation, fees for military plates would be eliminated under LB 697 from Brainard Sen. Bruce Bostelman.
And LB 356 from Speaker Jim Scheer of Norfolk would change the way funds are distributed from Sammy’s Superheroes license plates. The Columbus nonprofit raises money and awareness for childhood cancer, but the plates bearing the organization’s name currently generate funding for roads.
Scheer’s bill would change that, directing 85 percent of the money raised from the plates to the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
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Rain clouds and a bit of a rainbow roll over the Millard, Nebraska, sky on Aug. 16, 2016.
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Steve Jobman, a farmer south of Minatare, Nebraska, cuts alfalfa after sunset on June 2, 2004.
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A pair of sandhill cranes pass in front of the moon shortly after sunrise at the Iain Nicolson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary near Gibbon, Nebraska, on March 13, 2012. Sandhill cranes, which mate for life, can live between 20 and 40 years.
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The moon rises above the corn as farmers harvest the last of their fields in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa on Nov. 5, 2014.
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A crescent moon sets behind the UNO bell tower on Nov. 6, 2013.
Ralph Remmert is depicted in the mural "Fertile Ground" near 13th and Mike Fahey Streets in north downtown Omaha on June 19, 2017.
Ralph Kohler, 94, keeps his eyes to the sky for ducks and geese as the sun rises over his hunting pond east of Tekamah, Nebraska, on Nov. 30, 2011. Kohler has been a professional guide for most of his life, and he is preparing for the spring season.
The sun rises over St. Paul Lutheran Church, located three miles north of Republican City, Nebraska, in March of 2004.
Geese are silhouetted in the color and clouds as the sun sets at Zorinsky Lake on Feb. 21, 2016.
The sun rises on Chimney Rock on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, near McGrew, Nebraska.
Cranes walk through the shallow water of the Platte River shortly before sunset near The Crane Trust, which is close to Wood River, Nebraska, on March 13, 2012. The river provides cranes with a safe place from predators for rest at night.
A bespangled vest awaits a rider during Nebraska's Big Rodeo on July 25, 2013, in Burwell, Nebraska.
Horses stand in the snow on Feb. 22, 2018.
Residents of the Nebraska Panhandle enjoyed unseasonably mild temperatures and cloud cover on Aug. 12, 2004.
Members of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association hold their hats as 2013 Miss Burwell Rodeo Olivia Hunsperger passes by during the opening ceremonies on July 27, 2013, in Burwell, Nebraska. "This may be a small town, but it's got a big rodeo, and it's got a really big heart," Hunsperger said.
A break in the clouds highlights downtown Omaha as seen from Lewis Central High School in Council Bluffs, as severe storms passed through the Omaha Metro area on June 5, 2014.
John Wanief waits for the bus in a shelter at 120th Street and West Center Road as cold rain pours down in Millard on Nov. 11, 2015.
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A red tail hawk perches on a light stanchion backed by the moon and overlooking the property near the Indian Creek development in Omaha on Feb. 27, 2018.
A woman walks with two dogs in Memorial Park near Dodge Street as many sledders go down the hill in Omaha, Nebraska, on Feb. 2, 2016. MATT MILLER/THE WORLD-HERALD
The sun sets over Sidney, Nebraska, on June 2, 2015.
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The morning sun burns off a layer of fog just north of the Chimney Rock.