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Weekly Legislative Update
The legislature adjourned Sine Die (Latin for “without day”) on Wednesday, bringing our ninety-day session to a close. Our closing ceremonies included addresses from Governor Dave Heineman and Speaker Greg Adams. The governor highlighted tax-cutting legislation that he had signed, such as my priority bill LB296, which will keep more of your hard-earned tax dollars in your pocket. Speaker Adams summarized the session noting that the Unicameral had passed roughly about the same number of bills as in other sessions over the past few years.
While no new bills will be introduced or passed for the next 7 months, the legislature continues its work during the interim. Many interim studies have been introduced by senators, including one that our office introduced to study the Papio-Missouri NRD. The tax commission created by the legislature will spend the next several months studying Nebraska’s tax code. The study will conclude with a tax summit to talk about the future of Nebraska’s system of taxation. The Water Funding Task Force will also spend time over the interim to develop a list of priority programs and projects to meet the goals of water sustainability in our state.
This past Monday, I had the pleasure of meeting the mayor-elect of Omaha, Jean Stothert, at an open house at the Capitol in Lincoln. On Thursday and Friday our office was visited by representatives from Girls and Boys State from all over our district including Oakland, Lyons, Bancroft, West Point, Tekamah, Blair, and other communities. These programs continue to do a fabulous job of educating our state’s future leaders on the importance of civic involvement and the functions of government. On Saturday, I visited Blair for the Gateway to the West celebration and had an opportunity to greet many of you during the parade and afterwards a barbeque.
This week, I am excited to announce that I have been appointed to serve on the Energy, Transportation, and Agriculture Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) for the 2013-2014 biennium. According to their mission statement, NCSL serves as a national bipartisan organization that serves legislators and staffs in all 50 states by providing research and technical assistance for policymakers. NCSL provides opportunities for policymakers to collaborate at a national level to bring new ideas back to their states to help shape policy based on results achieved in other states.
With the close of session, it is important to remember that our District 16 office is still open every work day. If you let us know when you plan to visit, we will be happy to make arrangements for a Capitol tour. Please contact my office if you have policy questions or meeting requests. During the interim, I will be spending my time visiting our District 16 communities, and I hope to see you on the road! Until then, please feel free to contact me or my administrative aide, David Slattery, or legislative aide, Taylor Gage, at (402) 471-2728 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Serving you in the Nebraska Legislature to keep the good life growing,
Senator Lydia Brasch