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The first session of the 105th legislature has come to an end after many long and heated hours of deliberation in which competing ideas and values eventually coalesced into a single vision.
Many battles were won and many were lost to decide what that vision would be, and in the end no one left with everything they wanted.
Though many important reforms remain unaccomplished, our most important obligation was achieved. The Legislature faithfully executed its duty to forward a balanced budget to Governor Ricketts, and did so without raising taxes.
But while forwarding a budget was absolutely essential, there were many important areas where the legislature failed this session.
I fought hard to end taxation of our senior’s Social Security benefits (LB453), change the burden of proof in dealing with the Tax and Equalization Review Commission in property tax appeals (LB385), and to push through reforms to protect our state’s children when a parent leaves them vulnerable to sexual predators (LB60), but these bills did not get passed. During the interim, my office and I will continue to work to make these bills the best they can be for all involved and revisit them in January.
My office did score some major successes though. With the help of the Banking Commerce and Insurance Committee clerk and legal counsel, Janice Foster and William Marineau, our office successfully completed the herculean labor of modernizing the Nebraska Banking Act (LB140) and Securities Act (LB148) for the first time since the 1960’s.
This is just an abbreviated version of the work I’ve done for District 18 this session, but I wanted to make sure that I keep people informed. As meetings and appointments throughout the interim start happening, I will provide updates of the work we are doing.
Whatever victories and defeats I face in my determination to lower taxes, fight for limited government and faithfully represent the concerns of Districts 18, my commitment to service and the honor I humbly feel in doing so remains unchanged.
Thank you for reaching out to my office this session with your thoughts and concerns. Please continue to contact my office with ideas and suggestions for ways to move Nebraska forward during the interim.