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Sen. Lydia Brasch

Sen. Lydia Brasch

District 16

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June 14th, 2011

May 9, 2011

As June 8, our final scheduled day of the 102nd Legislature of the 1st Session draws nearer, and legislation moves through the stages of debate, a number of bills were on Final Reading last week.  Many of the bills passed were on Consent Calendar, meaning the bills are non-controversial and each were granted fifteen minutes maximum for debate.  The budget was passed on Final Reading to provide a moderate increase of 2.6% growth in the first year and $7 billion total spending in the biennium.  Additionally, the Legislature voted to pass: 

  • LB 84, the “Build Nebraska Act” to designate a portion of sales tax to roads funding;
  • LB 22, prohibiting use of tax dollars for abortions through a health insurance exchange under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act;
  • LB 229, allowing the Department of Natural Resources to apply for Nebraska Environmental Trust funds for water projects; and
  • LB 165, limiting the occupation tax rate that municipalities may collect.

The Legislature debated LB 521, introduced by Senator Fulton, on General File on May 10.  LB 521 requires a physician to be present in the room with a woman when conducting an abortion.  LB 521 responds to a practice, particularly seen in Iowa, in which chemical abortions are performed via webcam without any physical examination of the woman.  LB 521 was advanced to Select File with my support.  

Also seeking to reduce the number of abortions and provide protection for women, my priority bill, LB 690, was advanced by the Judiciary Committee.  LB 690 will strengthen Nebraska law by requiring parental consent for an abortion instead of current law requiring only parental notification.  The Judiciary Committee amendment amends the bill to allow an exception in cases of abuse, giving a grandparent the authority to provide consent.  I look forward to debating LB 690 and appreciate your support of this important legislation.

Interim study resolutions are introduced up to May 17th. An interim study resolution is a formal request submitted by a senator to study a bill or specific need of a district or the state.  Public hearings are held on interim studies where committees will gather policy and subject information and hear testimony.  I introduced LR 230 as a follow-up to one of my bills this session, LB 691, to more closely study how biobased products can be more readily used in state government.  Biobased products include those derived from corn and soy, for example, and I believe using such products is one more way to advance Nebraska agriculture.  The issue of declining populations is also important to our district and the state and is the subject of LR 226.  I will follow this study during the interim to actively look for ideas to attract people to our rural communities.

On Friday, May 13, redistricting hearings were held by videoconference at locations statewide on five bills proposed by the Redistricting Committee.  Hearing testimony focused primarily on LB 703, boundaries of legislative districts, and LB 704, boundaries of the congressional districts.  In LB 703, District 16 experiences a notable change.  Stanton County is proposed to be divided among Districts 19 and 22, and Thurston County moves into District 17.  Making up this population, District 16 is proposed to gain representation of all Washington County.  The redistricting bills will soon be debated by the Legislature.    

Congratulations to all of our District 16 high school and college graduates!  We are so proud of your accomplishments and wish you great success in your future endeavors. Always remember, there is no place like home, especially District 16! 

Serving you in the Nebraska Legislature to keep the good life growing,

Senator Lydia Brasch, District 16

Sen. Lydia Brasch

District 16
Room #1022
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2728
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