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Nebraska lawmakers advance bill to send more youth criminal cases start in juvenile court

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LINCOLN, Nebraska — More teenagers charged with crimes could have their cases processed in Nebraska's juvenile court system, under a bill headed to a final vote in the Legislature.

Lawmakers gave the measure second-round approval on Tuesday. It would require that juveniles charged with Class 3A felonies or a lesser offense first have their case heard in juvenile court. Cases could still be elevated to county or district courts.

Juveniles could continue to receive drug and alcohol treatment through the juvenile courts until they turn 21.

Supporters say the higher felony charges represent the most serious violent offenses, and it's time to treat kids like kids.

Lawmakers also voted to remove a requirement that schools contact county attorneys when students have repeated absences.

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The bill is LB464

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