For Immediate Release: Contact: Jon Bruning
LINCOLN. Attorney General Jon Bruning today called for increased resources to combat the growing methamphetamine problem in Nebraska. "The skyrocketing increase in meth incidents in Nebraska cannot be ignored," said Bruning.
Bruning is asking the Legislature for a $2 increase in vehicle title fees to replace federal grant funds for drug prosecution that are in jeopardy and help fund seven additional methamphetamine prosecutors in the Attorney General's office. The Attorney General's office currently has four attorneys in its grant-funded drug prosecution unit that logged more than 100,000 miles in 2002 helping rural County Attorneys with drug prosecution. "Rural counties need our help with this problem, and we're about to lose the prosecutors we've got," Bruning said. "We need more prosecutors in this area, not less."
Nebraska's meth problem continues to grow at a staggering rate. According to the U.S. Attorneys Office, 1998 saw only 10 incidents of meth labs statewide, but by 2002 the total had increased to nearly 400. "Two dollars is a small price to pay when it comes to keeping our kids safe and drugs off the streets," said Bruning. "People who manufacture methamphetamine commit dozens of crimes to fuel their meth habit, including burglary, robbery, murder and rape."
In addition to an increase in resources to fight meth, Bruning has designated the following bills as priorities: