Nebraska Legislature Passes Bill Allowing Drivers to Purchase Choose Life License Plates

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Apr 3, 2017   |   5:26PM   |   Lincoln, NE

Nebraska drivers soon will be able to show their support for babies in the womb with specialty “Choose Life” license plates.

The state Senate gave final approval of a bill Monday to allow the specialty license plates to be created, the Associated Press reports. Gov. Pete Ricketts is expected to sign the bill.

The plates will cost $5 more than a standard Nebraska license plate, and the proceeds will be given to help families through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, according to the report.

The pro-life license plates have been contentious in Nebraska for years. Opponents argued that the plates are “state-sanctioned speech” and would face legal challenges.

A court challenge seems unlikely after North Carolina won a long court battle involving its “Choose Life” license plates last spring. In the case, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the pro-life license plates, approved by the state legislature in 2011, are constitutional.

The battle involving the North Carolina pro-life plates went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015, LifeNews reported. The high court ordered the 4th Circuit Court, which previously struck down the law, to reconsider the case in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in another license plate case, Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans.

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Nebraska is on its way to becoming the 30th state to offer the “Choose Life” license plates. Michigan lawmakers currently are considering a bill to allow the pro-life license plates in their state.

According to Choose Life America, the organization that encourages states to approve the plates, proceeds from the license plates have raised about $24 million to help pregnant and parenting families and adoptions. In the Midwest, Indiana raised $650,000, and Ohio raised more than $500,000. Both states have more than 25,000 vehicles with “Choose Life” plates, according to the organization.