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Nebraska lawmakers confirm new chief medical officer

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) _ Nebraska lawmakers have voted to confirm an Omaha doctor as the state’s chief medical officer despite concerns about how he will adapt to changing regulations.

Senators voted 39-2 on Monday to confirm Dr. Thomas Williams. Sen. Adam Morfeld, who voted against the confirmation, says the Department of Health and Human Services has allowed a Catholic group to stall the adoption of the state’s ethical principles for psychologists.

The Nebraska Catholic Conference insisted the regulations needed a “conscience clause” allowing psychologists to turn away lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender patients without referring them elsewhere.

Sen. Bob Krist of Omaha says he was disturbed by Williams’ testimony last week on medical marijuana legislation. Williams says marijuana has no medical use and was responsible for a Kansas man shooting his wife in 2014.

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