LINCOLN  - In her latest legislative column, State Sen. Julie Slama described her role in a filibuster against the Residential Tenant Clean Slate Act.

She said communities are safer and housing quality is promoted when landlords can ensure that their investments contribute positively to neighborhoods.

She said a filibuster defeated LB 175, which would have created a process for tenants to petition the court to have prior eviction cases sealed.

Here is the senator's column:

Property Rights Are Worth Fighting For
This past week we debated LB 175 in which I participated in a filibuster to defeat. LB 175 would have created the “Residential Tenant Clean Slate Act” which would allow for the sealing of court records related to eviction proceedings. It would create a process for tenants to petition the trial court for clean state relief under various circumstances.

One large problem with a clean slate relief is that it leaves future landlords vulnerable to bad tenants. Bad tenants that landlords could have protected themselves from if they would have been able to learn about the prior eviction cases filed against the tenant. In other words, we wouldn’t prevent a bank from looking at someone’s credit history, so why should we stop a landlord from looking at one’s rental history?

Landlords are business owners, too, just like farmers, medical practices, or your main street bakeries. Landlords are important to our business community and deserve to operate with transparency and security, while also having the ability to ensure their investments contribute positively to neighborhoods.

Property rights are essential to ensuring an equitable housing market. The possibility of Nebraska allowing the sealing of eviction records could weaken the balance between protecting tenant vulnerabilities and ensuring landlords can make informed decisions about their properties.
Failing to meet this balance could decrease the quality of housing, community safety, and economic implications of the housing market.

I look forward to continuing to discuss these issues in the coming weeks on the legislative floor.
As always, I welcome your input on issues important to you.
Follow along on my Facebook and Twitter pages, both entitled “Senator Julie Slama” for more updates, or contact me directly at Senator Julie Slama, District 1 State Capitol, PO Box 94604, Lincoln NE 68509-4604;
telephone: 402-471-2733; email: [email protected]