NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE

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Sen. Robert Hilkemann

Sen. Robert Hilkemann

District 4

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AS I SEE IT
February 20th, 2015

This first third of the Session I (we) have had a lesson in how to control the body by filibuster. I absolutely marvel at the capability of Senator Chambers’s knowing how to use the system to have the minority rule. Cloture will be the only way to pass a bill he doesn’t like – so far we haven’t taken any of the issues that far – I expect that to change in the next week(s).

The widely reported defeat of the Voter Photo ID was dead on arrival to the floor. There were difficulties with the bill itself and filibuster was begun. When the World Herald does a story and lists who votes for/against a bill realize that doesn’t necessarily mean those who voted for ending the filibuster oppose the measure. The body has to keep moving forward.

I will be interested in how LB10 – (Winner take all) fares on the floor. Nebraska is one of only two states that splits our electoral votes. You may recall Nebraska delivered one vote for President Obama in the ’08 election. This started in 1991 when Governor Nelson pushed for the separate vote and got it passed – previous attempts to return to winner take all have not been successful. The only way it could make it through this year is with a cloture vote – will there be 33 votes to move it forward?

The Appropriations committee has completed our preliminary review of all the agencies – it appears that we have been able to hold spending down. Even Senator Kintner feels we have been able to work together to bring some meaningful holding the line on spending – he is by far the biggest budget hawk on the committee – when he thinks we have done a good job of holding down spending you think you are on the right track. Next week the various agencies will start coming before us with their requests and trying to get cuts placed back in the budget. If you missed it, we appropriated $45 million dollars to the property tax relief fund – we have a goal to increase that number, but that won’t be known until the final days when all budget requests and floor debate are completed.

I’ve appreciated the opportunity to represent you in this esteemed body. We are truly 49 individuals seeking to do what is best for our great state. I am having a Town Hall meeting again tomorrow at the Hy-Vee store (132 and Dodge) in the upstairs meeting room between 9-10 am. Bring your questions and concerns.

Sen. Robert Hilkemann

District 4
Room #13th Floor
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2621
Email: rhilkemann@leg.ne.gov
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