FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Katie Linehan
Wednesday, February 20, 2013 Phone: 402-471-2929
Senator Scheer’s Capitol Update
Lincoln, NE – Greetings District 19 constituents. Six weeks ago today, I started my term as your State Senator with the commencement of the 103rd Nebraska Legislature. It is my privilege to represent the people of the 19th District. I look forward to continuing to learn about the intricacies of the legislative process and how to become the most effective representative possible.
Today I would like to talk about the committee hearing process. When a Senator introduces a bill, it is assigned to a committee and a public hearing is scheduled. In the coming week, three of the bills I introduced will be heard in committee. LB 468 is before the Revenue Committee on Friday, LB 312 is before the Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee on Monday, and LB 512 is before the Education Committee on Monday as well.
All committee hearings are open to the public. After the Senator sponsoring the bill introduces it to the members of the committee, proponent, opponent and neutral testifiers are invited to make a statement. If someone chooses to testify, that person is subject to questioning by the members of the committee. When no testifiers remain, the Senator is invited to make a closing statement. Like all testifiers, the Senator is subject to questioning by the committee. Bill sponsors and testifiers cannot question members of the committee during this process. After the sponsor finishes his or her closing remarks and answers any questions, the hearing on the bill closes.
During a single day, a committee often hears multiple bills. Some committee hearings last a couple of hours, others last several hours. Any member of the public may attend a hearing and any member of the public may testify on a bill. To testify, most committees require that the testifier fill out a simple form. Those forms are available in the hearing room on the day of the hearing.
We invite you to look at the bills that have been introduced this session my visiting www.nebraskalegislature.gov. Click on a bill to find out if and when the hearing has been scheduled and to which committee the bill has been assigned. Usually, hearings are scheduled at least ten days in advance. Hearings genearlly commence at 1:30 in the afternoon. Again, anyone is welcome to testify on any bill that is before a committee. If our office can be of any assistance to you in learning more about this process or facilitating your involvement at a hearing, please do not hesitate to contact us.