A routine bill to allow members of the Nebraska Legislature to pay became the latest filibuster target Tuesday, as lawmakers continued to shadow-box transgender health treatment for young people.

In a typical year, there is little or no debate over budget bills required to pay lawmakers. But this is no ordinary year. As the legislature enters its 59th day of 90-day session, senators have yet to pass a bill. It was originally sen. Machella is leading the filibustering charge as Cavanaugh slows unrelated bills to protest legislation banning some health treatments for transgender youth.

On Tuesday, Cavanaugh took aim at the annual bill appropriating money to pay senators a $12,000 annual salary. He started talking about that salary.

“Part of the problem in getting a representative body in the assembly is the salary. This is a barrier to entry for everyday Nebraskans who want to run for office. You have to have the financial means to do it,” Cavanaugh said.

In response to a question from Cavanaugh, Appropriations Committee Chair Sen. Rob Clements noted that the salary is set by the state constitution, which would require a popular vote to amend.

“There needs to be a vote of the people to change the senator’s salary,” said Clements, who last voted against a raise on the ballot in 2012.

Cavanaugh then moved on to talk about the bill at the root of his filibuster. LB574 bans puberty blockers, hormone treatments and surgery for youths under 19. While Bill calls these treatments gender reassignment procedures, medical groups call them gender confirmation care. Cavanaugh’s voice rose as she used the example of breast surgery to argue that the bill discriminated against transgender youth, but not against cisgender youth.

“If you’re a boy, and you want to live as a boy, and you have breast tissue, and you’re under 19, LB574 doesn’t stop you from having it removed. If you’re a girl, and you want to live as a girl want, and you want to have breast implants or breast reduction surgery, LB574 does nothing to stop you. However, if you were born a girl and you want to live as a boy, that surgery, that we have a boy and a girl at 19 Allowing for a lower age, miraculously becomes invalid,” he declared.

Sen. Steve Erdman criticized Cavanaugh’s arguments as well as his heated tone.

“Sen. Cavanaugh, we hear you when you speak. We don’t need to shout. But the point is, we disagree. And these puberty blockers and what they’re doing to these young people are harmful. And those are irreversible.

In fact Dr. Daniel Rosenquist, president of the Nebraska Medical Association which opposes LB574, says the effects of puberty blockers are reversible.

Erdman also pointed to a legislative rule, which he suggested Cavanaugh and his colleagues were breaking by talking about the transgender health bill, not the legislature’s pay bill, LB815, which was on the agenda.

“A member will speak only when recognized and will limit his comments to one question before the legislature today,” Erdman said. “The question is not LB574. The question is LB81. We’ve been doing this (talking about LB574) for almost 60 days now. It’s time for someone to follow the rules,” he said.

This drew a scathing response from Sen. Jane Day.

“Yes, under rule two, clause seven, it says that a member shall speak only when admitted and shall limit his remarks to questions before the legislature. And I’d say that’s exactly what’s happening because the question that’s been in front of the Legislature for the past 60 days, starting today, is, are we going to continue to sit in on discrimination against trans kids and pretend nothing’s going on? happening?” Day said.

After nearly six hours of debate, Cavanaugh withdrew his motion and amendment and allowed a vote on the pay bill, which advanced by a vote of 45-1.

Fierce debate on another issue is expected to continue Wednesday, as lawmakers consider the first phase of a bill to ban most abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy.

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