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As everyone gathered with loved ones for Thanksgiving, I hope everyone had a warm and wonderful holiday. Thanksgiving Day provides us an opportunity to give thanks for the many God-given blessings and freedoms that are protected in our great state and nation. Each year on Veteran’s Day we also have an opportunity to thank and honor the brave men and women who have served our country and protected our God-given rights and freedoms. This year we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I and the many Nebraskans that served in the war and gave everything for our country. Nebraska is very thankful for our veterans and we look forward to continuing to work for them in the upcoming legislative session.
The Legislative Council meets for two days each biennium to introduce newly elected senators and discuss several of the public policy issues that we will face in the upcoming legislative session. We heard from Appropriations Chair Senator Stinner and Legislative Fiscal Office Director Tom Bergquist about the fiscal outlook for the next two years. The Nebraska Economic Forecasting Advisory Board’s October report predicted a $232 million revenue shortfall over the next two years, meaning we will have a tight budget and little-to-no “spending” money for new legislation presented next year.
The Legislative Performance Audit Committee presented two reports on tax incentive programs to senators. Tax incentive programs are an important part of the state’s economic development strategy, introduced to encourage new businesses, supplement business growth, and bring new businesses to the state. The Legislative Audit Office is required to review all economic development tax incentives at least once every five years. The reports analyzed the efficiency and effects of the Nebraska Advantage Microenterprise Tax Credit Act and the Beginning Farmer Tax Credit Act and presented recommendations to legislators. We will use these reports, along with our own research, to craft policies to ensure tax incentives are used for their intended purpose and help grow Nebraska business.
Beginning November 26th, Highway US-75 will be closed for repairs north of Macy, weather permitting. The highway will be closed three miles north of Macy for an anticipated 30 days. Local traffic will be detoured via N-94 and US-77. The Department of Transportation is expecting delays on the detour routes and US-75. Please remember to drive carefully and observe posted traffic signs near construction zones and along detour routes.
I want to encourage my constituents to reach out to me, I look forward to hearing from you!