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This column covers legislative days 13 through 17.
Thank you to all the many constituents who’ve reached out to me with comments about bills, concerns in the district, and words of support. It took some adjustment, but at this point in the session, I’m close to confident that I could find my way around the Capitol without a map and I’m 100% confident I know which elevator gives me the easiest route to my office. I appreciate those who’ve visited so far. Everyone in District 16 should feel welcome to contact me or visit my office in the Capitol.
As of February 1st, eight bills that could affect property tax rates in some way have been heard in the Revenue Committee. As the intent and potential impact of these bills are discussed in the committee hearings, conversations between senators have started to take shape too. It’s possible a package of bills may be needed to fully bring about the level of relief needed by Nebraskans. Each of the eight bills heard in committee so far addresses the problem of high property taxes in a different way. It’s my hope the members of the Revenue Committee will send us many options for discussion and debate on the floor by all senators.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll use this column to write about some of the more high profile property tax bills. This will be beneficial to you in the district, but will also help me work through some of the details in each bill. As I write about them, I will not be endorsing any of the bills but will be considering how to discuss them if they came up on the floor for debate.
My bill, LB321 introduced on behalf of the Department of Agriculture, was heard in committee this week. The bill would allow for more efficient use of department resources when inspecting weights and measuring devices across the state. I was excited to present my first bill in committee and I’m working with the other members to bring the bill to the floor.
In the Business and Labor Committee, we heard testimony on five bills; and the Health and Human Services Committee heard testimony on three bills; the Agriculture Committee heard testimony on two bills. One of the more surprising hearings was that of LB 243 introduced by Senator Gragert to create a healthy soils task force. In addition to receiving comments from constituents on this bill, the hearing was filled with many experienced farmers, ranchers, and researchers on both sides of the issue. I was impressed by the number of people who showed up and the knowledge they had about Nebraska’s soil. It really showcased what makes Nebraska so unique and the fact that generations of farming can be just as educational as any college degree.
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