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Friday, January 27th marks the 17th day of our 90 day session.
Committee meetings are underway, the Legislature is currently debating the rules that will govern the chamber for the next two years, and some legislation is starting to make its way to the floor.
However, this legislative session was threatened to be hijacked due to the anger directed at a colleague, Senator Bill Kintner.
Senator Kintner’s actions have been well documented, and I feel he did the right thing this week when he announced his resignation. While in my heart I wish this situation could have been resolved earlier, by choosing to resign Senator Kintner has helped restore Nebraskans’ faith in our institution and will allow us to continue to do the work of the people.
I hope his action marks the end the divisive rhetoric that has entered our debates in recent days. But no matter what, it remains my goal to work with my colleagues to help District 17 and all of Nebraska thrive.
This week I introduced my first bill in the Agriculture Committee, LB 276, a bill to update that statute sections first adopted in 1937 relating to hybrid seed corn, specifically to include modern processes of producing hybrid seed corn.
The methods of hybrid breeding have evolved. Some of the methods listed in the current statute have fallen out of favor, while others have emerged. This legislation is the result of conversations between the Department of Agriculture, my colleagues and industry leaders on the best way to update the statutes.
The legislative process allows us to change and tweak bills both on the committee level and during floor debate. I’ve had the opportunity to work with some of my colleagues on various bills before the Business and Labor Committee which I chair and my own personal bills.
That is actually one of the great things about this process. It allows Senators the chance to engage in a fruitful discussion with our colleagues to make the best legislation possible and to come to an agreement on the best way forward.
This, to me, is one of the Nebraska legislature’s core strengths and I look forward to working with my colleagues this session.
I’m also proud to announce that I have recently been selected by my colleagues to serve on the Committee on State-Tribal Relations, which works to build a high-quality working relationship with the Native American Tribes in Nebraska.
My predecessor Sen. Dave Bloomfield served on this Committee, and I’m pleased that Sen. Tom Brewer of Gordon and a member of the Sioux nation who grew up near Pine Ridge Reservation has been chosen as Chair.