Lawmakers Pass Bill to Create Guardianships


LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- A bill to create a public guardian office for vulnerable Nebraskans has won final approval in the Legislature.

The office would serve as a last resort for Nebraskans who need a guardian or conservator when no one else is available. Lawmakers voted 44-0 on Thursday to pass the measure by Sen. Colby Coash, of Lincoln.

County courts often appoint guardians for people when a disability or mental illness prevents them from making responsible decisions. But in some cases, no one is willing or able to serve in that role.

The new office would have a director, deputy director and 12 associate public guardians. Its staff will also provide education, training and support to current and future guardians and conservators.