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This past week, we continued to see my LB85 work it’s way through the legislative process. The bill I brought forward that doesn’t allow anyone who owes penalties to the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission (NADC) to run for public office leaped another hurdle. The legislative fiscal office had suggested a fiscal note be attached to the bill. A fiscal note means the state must appropriate money in order to pay for a policy that is included in the bill. While this particular fiscal note was a relatively small $750, I understand that while the state is in a budget crunch like we’re seeing right now, every dollar counts. I spoke to the NADC and the commission’s very capable director told me the agency would be able to absorb those costs and wouldn’t need additional money. This means the bill will continue to have no negative fiscal impact on the state and it will be able to hold “bad guys” who don’t want to pay their fines accountable.
LB85 will be on the legislature’s floor again Monday morning as it goes through Select File and it should easily advance as it received 40 yes votes and zero no votes to advance on General File. Another of my bills, LB80 has officially become law! The bill which makes it easier for county attorneys’ and public defenders’ offices to recruit and retain legal students and law clerks and then promote them to full-time lawyers. This is a simple law that removes the kind of red tape Governor Ricketts talked about in his State of the State address. LB80 was voted through the legislature last week and Governor Ricketts signed the bill on March 7.
It wasn’t such good news for all of my bills this week. LB87 which would have been a big help to job development and renewable energy efforts in the state of Nebraska was Indefinitely Postponed by the Natural Resources committee. My bill would have raised the cap on net metering from 25KW to 100KW and would have allowed meter aggregation. Both of those steps would have been important when trying to show businesses that Nebraska can be competitive when it comes to innovation and green tech. I talked about how important this kind of initiative is in a recent interview with The Reader. Several well-paid lobbyists were against this and several other green energy bills that were also killed by the committee. While I’m disappointed the committee decided to take this action, you can rest assured that I will continue to fight that fight and will be bringing another bill on the topic in 2018.
This Sunday I will be holding my first symposium of the session. The topic is going to be “The Dichotomy of Sex Trafficking” and we’re going to be having experts from the criminal justice side of the issue as well as those who work directly with victims of this terrible practice. The symposium is of course, open to the public and will take place from 1:00 to 2:30 PM on March 12 at Bellevue University, in the John B. Muller building. (1000 Galvin Road S) on the lower level. If you’re free on Sunday, please do consider coming out and learning more about this issue.
Monday will mark the 45th day of the legislative session. That means we will be right at halfway point of my first session and there is still much to do. As always, we are here to serve the residents of District 3. Don’t hesitate to call or email my office and we are happy to respond to any questions or concerns you may have.