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This column covers legislative days 25 through 28.
Last week was a big week in your Unicameral Legislature. A number of well attended and highly controversial committee hearings took place and Friday, February 21st was the final day for senators to choose a priority bill for this session. The landscape for the remaining days of this 60-day session has been set and senators can now begin vetting the various priority bills and negotiating changes if needed to gain approval with the rest of the body. Judging by the priority bills chosen, it’ll be an exciting second half of the session!
I’ve chosen LB 1203, a bill introduced by Senator Linehan of Elkhorn, as my priority bill this session. When the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was passed in 2017 it made changes that have affected state governments throughout the country. LB 1203 will correct one of the negative outcomes for Nebraska by fixing an unintended consequence of the federal tax code change. Since the change, Nebraska has been taxing foreign income by U.S. businesses at 100% – more than California or New York – and far more than the 0% that some of our neighboring states are taxing. This income is money the state should be more intentional about, and usually, if the Nebraska government is taxing more than California or New York, that means we are doing something wrong. Part of my job is to protect Nebraska taxpayers from being overtaxed – that includes businesses, individuals, families, or other organizations. I’m happy to prioritize this bill.
The Judiciary Committee heard LB 814 last week, a bill introduced and prioritized by Senator Geist of Lincoln, to prohibit dismemberment abortion. Dismemberment abortion is a practice in which the unborn child is literally ripped apart limb by limb and taken out of the mother. This is a monstrous practice that has no place in a civilized society. One testifier in support of the bill compared the procedure to a “tooth extraction.” We cannot allow the dehumanization of unborn children in Nebraska and I’m very proud to co-sponsor the bill. It faces a tough road ahead as the abortion lobby has a hold on many senators in your Unicameral Legislature, but with your support, we can get this bill passed.
Another bill heard in the Judiciary Committee was LB 816, introduced by Senator McCollister of Omaha. Hundreds of pro-second amendment advocates flooded the Capitol to an extent I have not seen in my time here. Two overflow rooms were set up for testifiers and others to wait in while the hearing took place. News coverage of the hearing was widespread and I received many emails and phone calls about the bill. LB 816 has not been prioritized and is unlikely to make it to floor debate this session.
As always you can contact me at email@example.com or contact the office to speak with my Administrative Assistant, Ellie Stangl, or my Legislative Aide, Jacob Campbell. To read all introduced legislation please visit nebraskalegislature.gov. You may watch the live stream of the session when available at netnebraska.org.