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Senator Hansen’s second column covers legislative days 9 through 12.
The third week of your 2019 Unicameral Legislature saw an uptick in activity as senators finalized bill introduction and committee hearings began. At the end of January 23rd, 739 bills and 15 legislative resolutions had been introduced – all during the first 10 days of the session. Each of these bills will be routed to one of 14 standing committees and receive a public hearing where stakeholders will testify as proponents, opponents, or in a neutral capacity. Public hearings are an extremely important part of the work we do in the Legislature. Without input from our constituents, we will not have all of the information necessary to make the best decisions possible for our state. I encourage you to track bills of interest and to testify at the public hearings. If you need information about how or when to do so, please contact my staff using the information at the end of this column.
When not debating rules of the session on the floor or in committee hearings, my schedule was full of meetings with constituents, government officials, and other individuals who will be resources as I represent everyone in District 16. As a member of the Agriculture Committee and Health and Human Services Committee, I listened to testimony on 10 different bills and informational briefings. The HHS Committee has a challenging task ahead of us as we make decisions incorporating the voter-approved Medicaid Expansion project in Nebraska.
I am also pleased to announce I am the only freshmen senator appointed as a member of the Legislative Performance Audit Committee. This is a special committee tasked with determining state programs’ effectiveness, efficiency, and compliance with legislative intent. On this committee, I’ll be able to ensure the state abides by sound policy implementation standards and the fiscal responsibility Nebraskans deserve because I believe one of my primary duties as your representative is to be a good steward of taxpayer money. The constituents of District 16 are well served with their representative on this important committee.
As I look ahead to next week, I’ll continue preparation for the public hearing of my LB 321 in the Agriculture Committee on January 29th. This bill will streamline the efficiency of government resources by allowing risk-based inspections of scales rather than the mandatory annual inspections required currently. The other four bills I’ve introduced have not yet been scheduled for committee hearings.
I continue to discuss property tax relief with other senators as some bills have been heard in the Revenue Committee. I’m looking forward to debating these on the floor once the Revenue Committee votes them out of committee.
You’re welcome to contact our office at (402)-471-2728 to speak with my Administrative Assistant, Ellie 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