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This column covers legislative days 1 through 8.
Greetings to all of you in District 16. I want to first take this opportunity to again express my gratitude for electing me as your senator for District 16. I am honored and eager to represent the many thoughts and needs of everyone in the district. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office with feedback, requests, or information that may be helpful in making “The Good Life” even better.
We began the first session of the 106th Legislature on January 9th. My wife and daughter, as well as other family members, were there to support me as I took the oath of office. Fourteen senators were immediately elected as chairs for each of the fourteen standing committees and committee assignments were decided upon. I’ll be serving on the Health and Human Services Committee, the Agricultural Committee, and have the pleasure of serving as Vice Chair of the Business and Labor Committee, a rare opportunity for first-year senators. As a physician and business owner with family roots in agriculture, I believe I can best serve the district by utilizing my strengths in each of these areas.
An important thing to note if you plan on visiting the Capitol over the next few years is the long-term HVAC and window project taking place. Many of the usual senators’ offices are closed for renovations, so the tower of the Capitol is being used in the meantime. For at least two days my staff and I did not have an office or access to computers or phones. I apologize if you attempted to contact us during that time.
All legislative bills are introduced during the first ten days of the legislative session and as senators have settled in we’ve also been laying the groundwork for this ninety-day session. My introduced bills this session include streamlining government by eliminating overregulation, encouraging rural economic development opportunities, and protecting the civil liberties and freedoms of all Nebraskans. Throughout the session, I’ll be co-sponsoring bills introduced by other senators including a pro-life bill introduced by Senator Albrecht of District 17.
The most important effort in Legislature this session is one I am heavily involved in – property taxes. Property owners have needed relief for too long. Rural senators have carried the water for property taxes in the past, including multiple proposals by former District 16 senator Lydia Brasch, but I’m hopeful the tide may have finally turned and the entire Legislature feels the same sense of urgency.
Property tax relief is my top priority and I’m excited about continuing conversations with other senators who’ve made it theirs too. As of adjournment on January 18th, 478 bills had been introduced – including 11 proposals related to property taxes.
You’re welcome to contact our office at (402)-471-2728 to speak with my Administrative Assistant, Elizabeth Stangl; or my Legislative Aide, Jacob Campbell. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. To follow along with the session please visit nebraskalegislature.gov or you may watch the live stream when available at netnebraska.org.