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Lawmaker panel advances Nebraska prison oversight proposal

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) _ Nebraska lawmakers are one step closer to creating a new oversight committee to monitor the state’s prison system.

Members of the Executive Board voted 6-3 on Wednesday to send the measure to the full Legislature for debate.

The proposal by Sen. Bob Krist of Omaha would create a seven-member committee to examine problems in the state prisons and other agencies that work with criminal offenders. Lawmakers have created similar committees in the past.

The original proposal would have given the committee subpoena power to compel witness testimony, but that provision was stripped out through an amendment.

Sen. Laura Ebke of Crete, the chairwoman of the Judiciary Committee, is expected to lead the committee.

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