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Sen. Lydia Brasch

Sen. Lydia Brasch

District 16

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Week of March 24

March 31st, 2014

Weekly Legislative Update

Thursday, March 20 was the Fifty-First Day of this One Hundred Third Legislature, Second Session. Only nine  legislative days remain of our sixty day session.  On our daily agenda we now regularly have numerous bills in Consent Calendar and on Final Reading, which means many bills are moving through the legislative process quickly.  We are moving forward to make our limited time in session count.  The 17 senators who are term limited after eight years of service continue using every tool in their toolbox and their floor experience with spirited zest in an attempt to bring  their long awaited legislation to fruition before this session ends.

Not only do we consider and debate legislation on the floor each day, but we also do our best to respond to numerous constituent emails, letters, and phone calls. The number of meetings and receptions being held in and around the Capitol are also winding down, where focus is primarily on pending legislation at hand.

Thank you to Pastor Pastor Russ Foust of Grace United Methodist Church in Kennard for serving as volunteer Chaplain leading us in prayer on Wednesday, March 26.  It is uplifting to have our district’s clergy join us during session in prayer before we convene.

Here are some updates on legislation from this week:

  • LR41CA allows pari-mutuel wagering on live, delayed, and replayed (or “historic”) horse races at licensed racetracks.  This bill advanced to Final Reading March 25, and if passed, will be on voters’ ballots in November;
  • LB768 (Livestock Brand Act bill)  In conversation with Senator Schilz, the livestock producers in Cuming, Burt, and Washington counties will not necessarily be impacted by this legislation.  Rather, they still have the option to have an inspection performed by the Nebraska Brand Committee, but if one is performed, there is now a method for the Committee to recover a fee equal to that of inspections performed in the mandatory brand area, as well as expenses incurred in performing the inspection;
  • LB1001 permits the growth and cultivation of industrial hemp by postsecondary institutions for research purposes as an agricultural product.  During all three stages of debate there was no opposition or support from the Nebraska Department of Agriculture or law enforcement agencies, and I was opposed to the bill moving forward without their support.  However, the pending research will hopefully provide valuable information for Nebraskans to learn about hemp;
  • LB983, which updates Nebraska statutes to comply with federal regulations regarding commercial drivers’ licenses (CDLs), passed March 24 with an emergency clause and was presented to the Governor the same day;
  • LB671, the mountain lion hunting bill, narrowly passed Monday with a 28-13-8 vote.  Governor Heineman vetoed the bill four days later, citing potential constitutional issues and conflict with a bill passed in 2012 that allowed for mountain lion hunting.

The annual Nebraska Agricultural Youth Institute is July 7-11, 2014, at UNL’s East Campus.  “NAYI is a five-day conference for high school juniors and seniors to learn about career opportunities within agriculture.  This includes:  engaging speakers, workshops and panels, agriculture education, professional development, leadership experience, fun and new friends, networking with peers and industry leaders.  All of these experiences come free of charge, thanks to generous sponsors.”  Apply online at  Applications are due April 15.

We have heard from constituents on numerous issues, and I am always happy to hear from you!  Please continue to contact me, my administrative aide, Katie Wattermann, or my legislative aide, Joe Neuhaus, with questions or thoughts at (402) 471-2728 or by email at; or stop by Room 1016 if you are at the Capitol.

Keeping the Good Life growing in Nebraska,

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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