Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Testimony before Nebraska Legislative Committee

This past Monday I was blessed with the opportunity to testify in front of the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee regarding a bill that will help make Nebraska Roads safer and will face the honest reality of our current immigration situation. The text follows:


My name is Father Jason Emerson, Associate Rector of All Saints Episcopal Church. Thank you for your time and hearing today. I wish to speak in favor of LB 266. I support this proposed policy simply because it is good for me, good for the people of my parish, and good for all people residing in Nebraska.

Moving LB 266 out of committee, where it will hopefully be passed on the floor of the unicameral, is in my interests because I drive a car in Nebraska. Both my work and my leisure consist of driving not only the streets of Omaha, but the entire state as well. Licensed insured drivers are safer then those without either. Passing this legislation will increase the percentage of licensed and insured drivers; therefore my safety is increased, and when accidents do happen my health and property are insured. Passing this legislation will mean increased safety for both my wife and me.

For similar reasons this bill is good for the people of my congregation. Whether they themselves are drivers, or they have children or others that they drive to church, I want them to be able to arrive at church for worship, Christian formation, and other events safely. Once again they will be helped by this bill because of the raised level of public safety it will provide.

Finally, I hope for the passing of LB266 because it is good policy for all people of the state of Nebraska. Not only could it decrease the amount of uninsured motorist and therefore the amount of uninsured accident claims, making it fiscally sound, it is also morally sound. I am an Episcopalian. We take an oath at our baptism, which we repeat at least five times a year because it is central to our practice of faith. The last question of that oath asks, “Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?” The proscribed answer is, “I will with God’s help.” I believe that respecting the dignity of every human being, that is to say every child of God, involves giving every child of God the opportunity to obey the law. There are many children of God in the state of Nebraska that would like to obey our driving laws. They would like to be licensed and insured drivers, but are not currently allowed.

Today an opportunity is before you. Rarely do we get to help large quantities of people with simple actions, but today you can take a step towards not only improving my safety, not only the safety of my parishioners, but also the moral fabric of our state. I urge you to deeply consider what you have heard here today, and to vote to send LB266 to the floor of the legislature. I urge you further, once the bill is on the floor to speak in favor of its passing. Once again, thank you for your time and hearing of this matter, and may God help us all!

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