Criminal Justice

ALEC Policy Champions: Nebraska Sen. Tom Brewer and Sen. Justin Wayne Protect Veterans in the Justice System

We are pleased to recognize Nebraska Senator Tom Brewer and Senator Justin Wayne, the driving forces behind Nebraska’s new veteran’s justice law, as our latest ALEC Policy Champions. Senator Brewer, who spent 37 years in the military as an infantryman and airborne ranger, called the proposal a starting point that would be good for veterans, good for Nebraska, and “good for our communities.”

“It’s not a permission slip to commit crimes, but a way to address those issues that are specific to veterans,” said Brewer.

On April 16th, Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen signed L.B.253, Nebraska’s latest bipartisan effort in supporting veterans involved in the justice system. The new law establishes a justice program to provide extra opportunities to help veterans deal with their underlying traumas. This new law will provide judges with a very important discretionary tool to grant deferred judgments after taking qualified and deserving veterans’ individual circumstances into account. It will go into effect on July 1, 2025.

The new law resembles in great part one of ALEC’s latest Criminal Justice Task Force Model Policies—the Veterans Justice Act. With bogged down court systems across the country that are often forced to adjudicate in accordance with purely penal laws, Nebraska has significantly enabled their courts to process veterans seeking help in a vastly more rehabilitative and productive manner.

Congratulations to Senator Tom Brewer, Senator Justin Wayne, and the State of Nebraska for providing their courts with the needed tools to better support their veterans.

In Depth: Criminal Justice

The American Legislative Exchange Council is proud to be a leader on criminal justice reform. For over a decade, the ALEC task force on criminal justice has brought state legislators and stakeholders together for the purpose of driving sound criminal justice policies. ALEC members focus on new and innovative state…

+ Criminal Justice In Depth