The official site of the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

John Arch

Sen. John Arch

District 14

Click Here to Visit The Speaker's Page

The content of these pages is developed and maintained by, and is the sole responsibility of, the individual senator's office and may not reflect the views of the Nebraska Legislature. Questions and comments about the content should be directed to the senator's office at

Long Session Concludes
June 1st, 2021


The long session of the One-Hundred and Seventh Legislature concluded on May 27th, four days earlier than the usual 90-day session.  But there was nothing usual about the 2021 legislative session.  As is custom, the first day of the legislative session included the swearing in of newly-elected senators and the selection of the body’s leadership positions.  I was elected to serve as the chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee for the next two years and I am honored to serve in this capacity.  Also in the usual fashion, senators introduced legislation for the first ten days, with 684 measures being proposed this year for consideration.  And this is where business as usual stopped.

When the session began in January, Nebraska was still in a declared state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic and drastic changes were made to the day-to-day operation of the Legislature.  In the past, the first half of the session was spent with mornings dedicated to debating legislative proposals and afternoons dedicated to public hearings on all of the measures that have been introduced.  In order to mitigate the potential for exposure to the virus during the peak months of January and February, the Legislature held hearings both morning and afternoons as committees represent a smaller gathering of senators.  Once the hearings concluded in March, the Legislature spent the rest of the session debating the bills that were advanced from the various committees.

Regardless of the unusual circumstances the pandemic presented, the session moved forward and many important policy matters were contemplated.  As the chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee, much of my focus was on bills under the jurisdiction of the committee. In addition, I personally introduced measures intended to improve the health of Nebraskans by increasing access to telehealth services, particularly for those individuals seeking mental health services.  These telehealth bills passed with significant support and were signed into law by the Governor.  The new laws will take effect in August.

Every odd-numbered session, the Legislature is also tasked with adopting a two-year state budget.  This year, the Legislature passed a $9.7 billion budget that represents a conservative 1.6 percent average annual budget growth.  Included in the budget is roughly $1.45 billion in property tax relief through the state’s homestead exemption program, the State Property Tax Relief Fund and the new refundable property tax credit. The new credit was passed by the Legislature last year and provides an income tax credit based on property taxes paid to school districts.  The credits are available now and can still be claimed even if you have already filed your taxes for 2020.  More information on the new credit can be found on the Department of Revenue’s website:

In addition to property tax relief, the Legislature passed other measures to ease the tax burden on Nebraskans.  Laws have been enacted to exempt 100% of military retirement income to encourage retired military personnel to make Nebraska their home; phase in an exemption from income taxation of social security benefits to keep our retirees in the state; reduce our corporate income tax to make us competitive with neighboring states in attracting new business; and repeal the sales tax on residential water.  Other important bills that passed will provide for the expansion of broadband access across the state; leverage federal dollars for investment in small businesses; authorize the creation of inland port authorities to assist in large commercial and industrial development; and allow for the development of an implementation plan for a Mental Health Crisis Hotline.

Despite some of the challenges that COVID-19 presented to an already challenging job, my colleagues and I worked through the session to provide the public service for which we were elected.  And while the session has come to an end, we continue to work on issues throughout the interim.  I personally will be serving as the chairman of a special investigatory committee looking into our child welfare services in Douglas and Sarpy Counties, as vice-chairman of a special committee to provide oversight for the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Centers, and will continue to study potential future legislation.  Your voice is valuable in the legislative process no matter what time of year and I encourage you to continue to share your thoughts on issues that are important to you.


Sen. John Arch

Speaker of the Legislature
Room 2103
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
(402) 471-2730
Search Senator Page:
Committee Assignments
    General Affairs
    Health and Human Services
    Urban Affairs
Search Current Bills
Search Laws
Live Video Streaming
View video streamView live streams of floor activity and public hearings

Streaming video provided by Nebraska Public Media

Find Your Senator