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The 90-day session of the 102nd Legislature has reached the halfway point, but there is still a lot of work to do and serious policy decisions to be made. Since the beginning of the session in January, legislators have been spending their afternoons in committee hearings and listening to testimony on over 700 bills and proposed amendments to the constitution. The public hearings will be concluding and the Legislature will now be spending full days discussing those measures that have been advanced from the various committees.
Given the time constraints of the session, there is simply not enough time to discuss all the proposals that have been introduced. Those issues that have been identified as priorities for the state are moved ahead of other bills, but there is still no guarantee a particular bill will be debated and passed.
Among the topics that will be the focus of the Legislature’s deliberations include our tax policy, the child welfare system, state aid to schools, abortion, roads funding, DUI laws, collective bargaining for public employees and water management. Of course, the other big issue will be the state’s budget. Before the end of the session in June, the Legislature must also find a way to close a nearly $1 billion budget gap.
The progress of these various measures can be monitored from the Legislature’s website “http://nebraskalegislature.gov/”. Debate on legislation is also broadcast via live video stream on this site. Your opinion is important to me, so I encourage you to pay attention to these issues and provide your input as a Nebraska citizen.