NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE
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Sen. Lydia Brasch

Sen. Lydia Brasch

District 16

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Week of March 31

April 14th, 2014

Weekly Legislative Update

April Fools’ Day marked the 51st Legislative Day of the 103rd Legislature, Second Session.  There are five legislative days remaining until we adjourn Sine Die on April 17.  Thank you to Pastor Shawn Linnell of Trinity Lutheran Church in Blair for joining us as Chaplain of the Day on Tuesday, April 1 and to Pastor Coral Parmenter of United Methodist Church of Christ in Wisner for joining us as Chaplain on April 2.  We always appreciate the clergy from District 16 who volunteer to travel to Lincoln and offer their prayers.

After the passage of LBs 130, 905, and 906 (budget appropriation bills), Governor Heineman returned them to the Legislature with line-item vetoes.  On Tuesday, we carefully examined these bills and fully debated the potential outcomes.  The Governor stated his line-item vetoes returns $65 million dollars to taxpayers for the property tax relief they requested.  Among some of the vetoed items were:

  • $14.5 million from the Cash Reserve to the Nebraska Capitol Construction fund for the erection of fountains in the Capitol courtyards and renovation of the building’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system;
  • various new Salary Limits for state agencies, new state agency positions, and a transfer from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Contingency Fund Program to the Behavioral Health Aid Program (in order to offset costs to the state due to implementation of the Affordable Care Act);
  • $12.5 million transfer from the Department of Motor Vehicles Cash Fund to the Vehicle Title and Registration System Replacement and Maintenance Cash Fund and $5 million of the $15 million to the Game and Parks Commission for maintenance and improvement projects.

All vetoes were overridden Tuesday by the Legislature.  I supported the Governor’s vetoes and not the override of the Legislature, as I believe more extensive tax relief is possible for our taxpayers.  However, I appreciated the privilege of attending the bill signing press conference with the Governor in support of valuable tax relief efforts for Nebraskans.

Senator Chambers introduced a motion Wednesday to override Governor Heineman’s veto of his mountain lion hunting bill, LB671.  The motion failed on a 24-21-4 vote. Senator Chambers has taken a firm stand that it will be a “rough rest of the session” for those of us who voted for the override.

We enjoyed welcoming Lyons-Decatur Northeast High School seniors and two of their teachers Wednesday.  Unfortunately, I was unable to meet the Lyons-Decatur 4th graders who visited the next day, as they were pressed for time.  We also had student visitors from the Federation of Women’s Club of Nebraska.  I was able to sit down for lunch at the Governor’s Residence with a Cuming County student and his Dodge County friends, and we enjoyed a refreshing trip together to the top of the tower and looked out across a brisk, extremely breezy capital city.

Our session is winding down as the issues continue heating up.  As always, I encourage you to share your thoughts on pending legislation before we adjourn sine die.  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 lbrasch@leg.ne.gov; 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
Email: lbrasch@leg.ne.gov
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