NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE

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Bruce Bostelman

Sen. Bruce Bostelman

District 23

The content of these pages is developed and maintained by, and is the sole responsibility of, the individual senator's office and may not reflect the views of the Nebraska Legislature. Questions and comments about the content should be directed to the senator's office at bbostelman@leg.ne.gov

Welcome
January 4th, 2023

Thank you for visiting my website. It is an honor to represent the people of the 23rd legislative district in the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature.

You’ll find my contact information on the right side of this page, as well as a list of the bills I’ve introduced this session and the committees on which I serve. Please feel free to contact me and my staff about proposed legislation or any other issues you would like to address.

Sincerely,
Sen. Bruce Bostelman

Update 1/30/23
January 30th, 2023

As we prepare to start week 6 of the legislature, we have several bills being heard in committees. We started committee hearings January 23rd, with half day hearings. This week we begin full day hearings which will continue until February 9th. Full day hearings mean that morning hearings start between 9-9:30 and the afternoon hearings start at 1:30. After bills have had an opportunity to hear public testimony during hearing each committee sets a time to hold an executive session.

When an executive session occurs the senators on that committee discuss and vote on whether each bill will be sent to the general file. If a bill goes to general file, it will be scheduled for debate on the floor by Speaker Arch’s office. Priority bills are typically scheduled first. These bills are given priority by a senator, committee, or the speaker.

Once priority bills are scheduled the rest of the bills are traditionally scheduled based on the order they are placed on the general file; some consideration is also given to the amount of time needed for debate. For example, a bill that is more contested will require more time for debate than one that has complete agreement but needs an amendment. Debate on bills on general file is scheduled to begin on Monday February 13th.

One of the bills that I have introduced this year is LB288, which was heard by the Transportation and Telecommunication committee on January 26th. The purpose of this bill is to improve the online insurance verification system. This bill would be an asset to law enforcement. It allows them to check the status of an individual’s insurance on the scene of traffic stops or accidents.

In light of the overturning of Roe V. Wade this last June; This year’s walk for Life held special significance. The walk was held on Saturday January 28th on the north steps before we walked down to the UNL Student Union. This year’s keynote speaker was Dr. John Bruchalski; a former abortion provider who shared his life-altering encounter that led to his change in perspective on life. It is always encouraging to be around others who celebrate life.

As always, contact my office with any questions or thoughts on legislation impacting District 23. You can reach my office at 402-471-2719 or bbostelman@leg.ne.gov

Update 1/20/23
January 20th, 2023

The Legislature has completed the process of introducing bills for this session. A total of 812 bills and 31 Legislative Resolutions or Constitutional Amendments have been filed. Now the committee process will begin as every bill that is introduced will receive a hearing, unless the bill is withdrawn.

The Committee hearings will be held during the afternoons through January 27th. After that hearings will be starting at either 9:30am or 1:30pm. This year the Legislature offers a new option for those who would like to publicly testify but due to disability are unable to attend in person. This option allows you to provide testimony at committee hearings and unlike the comment option it allows you to upload up to 5 documents in support of your testimony as you would have the option to do when testifying in person. These documents must be in PDF format and submitted by Noon on the business day prior to the hearing.

To use this option, you must find the committee schedule and click “ADA Accommodation Testimony” Confirm you qualify under ADA, this is a self-verify with no documentation required. All boxes must be filled in, you do not need to upload exhibits. You must be representing yourself for the ADA testimony. Please be sure you are entering a valid email address; you must verify through email or no one will see your testimony.

I will try to highlight a couple of bills each week. I’ve introduced 16 bills this session, one is LB568 that creates the Nuclear and Hydrogen Development Act. The bill creates a working group that will assess and determine the workforce training needs in advanced nuclear and hydrogen technologies. It will also create a grant program for colleges to apply for in the development of these new programs.

I’ve cosponsored LB77, a constitutional carry bill introduced by Senator Brewer. The bill will be heard in the Judiciary committee on January 26th at 1:30pm. This is Senator Brewer’s priority bill. The bill will authorize the concealed carry of handguns without a permit in Nebraska.

Finally, as the end of January is fast approaching and tax season is beginning. I wanted to remind everyone to make sure and check the Nebraska Department of Revenue’s website for your Nebraska Property Tax Credit. The credit is available for both school district and community college property taxes paid. The current form and information for 2022 tax year is scheduled to be up by January 31st. Information on this tax credit and how you can claim this credit can be found at https://revenue.nebraska.gov/about/nebraska-property-tax-credit

As always, contact my office with any questions or thoughts on legislation impacting District 23. You can reach my office at 402-471-2719 or bbostelman@leg.ne.gov

Update 1/13/2023
January 13th, 2023

Things are starting to pick up in our second week of session. We’ve approved the committees and continued to introduce legislation. As of January 13th, over 490 new bills have been introduced. More are expected as we approach the deadline for new bill introduction on January 18th.

Hearings for all committees will begin on January 23rd, you can find the schedule for these hearings on the legislature’s website https://nebraskalegislature.gov/ on the Left side of the screen click “committees” then “hearing schedules.” You can then view upcoming hearings by week or select a range to view.

If you’ve found a hearing or bill you would like to make a comment on. There are several options for adding your comments on the record. You can attend the hearing in person or make a comment online. Information on how to participate in these hearings can be found on the Legislature website listed above. Click the “committees” and “public input options” on the left side of the screen.

During my time in the Legislature broadband service has been a primary project of mine. I want to thank Governor Pillen for starting the Broadband Office. Along with some federal funding that is coming to the state and several new bills being introduced, it will help to increase high speed access to unserved and underserved areas of Nebraska. The FCC has created a map to help target the areas where the federal funds will be best used and where services are needed.

The rules committee met on Jan 12th to discuss 58 proposed rule changes suggested and released its report to the rest of the legislative body and full debate on the motion to adopt the permanent rules will begin on January 19th. Thank you to those who have reached out to my office to share your opinions on the rule changes and those who came in person to put their thoughts on the record. I appreciate the feedback.

As always, contact my office with any questions or thoughts on legislation impacting District 23. You can reach my office at 402-471-2719 or bbostelman@leg.ne.gov

Update 1/6/2023
January 6th, 2023

Greetings from the Legislature! Happy New Year to Nebraskans and constituents of district 23! I hope everyone had a safe and blessed Christmas season and is having a great start to the new year. The 108th Nebraska Legislature, First Session convened on Wednesday, January 4th and is now underway.

Our 108th Legislative session is a long, 90-day session that began with elections for all legislative positions and permanent officers. I was reelected as Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee and I will continue to serve on the Transportation and Telecommunications committee.

We’ve seen several changes in the legislature already beginning with the retirement of Patrick O’Donnell. Patrick has served as the Clerk for the Legislature faithfully for 45 years. He has done a great job ensuring the constitutional, statutory and policy requirements are followed when the Legislature is in session and providing guidance in these areas outside of session. He will be missed.

Additional Legislative changes included greeting 12 new senators and 2 returning senators. We said goodbye to Speaker Mike Hilgers, who was elected Attorney General. The second day of session was a ceremonial day as we witnessed the swearing in of the States Constitution Officers. This included Lieutenant Governor Joe Kelley and Governor Jim Pillen.

Bill introduction for new legislation, which is completed in the first 10 days of session, will end on January 18th. In our first days of session, which ended on Friday, January 6th saw a total of 159 bills introduced. You can view and track these bills at https://nebraskalegislature.gov/ and select “Introduced legislation” in the center of the page. This website is updated as the new bills are introduced.

I will continue to provide updates as we progress through the session. I encourage you to reach out to my office with the issues that impact you. You may contact my office at 402-471-2719 or bbostelman@leg.ne.gov

Update 4/21
April 25th, 2022

By the time of this publication, the 107th Legislature will have adjourned “Sine Die.” The last days of session were spent passing bills on Final Reading. We also recognized the thirteen outgoing senators who are either being term-limited out, or not running for re-election.

At the time of writing this, the legislature has passed 149 bills for the 2022 session. 22 of these bills have been approved by the governor, and three have become law notwithstanding objections from the Governor, which are the budget bills that were line-item-vetoed. Additionally, one resolution, LR14, which involves a call for a Convention of States, was delivered to the Nebraska Secretary of State.

Overall, the legislature managed to pass a number of critical pieces of legislation for Nebraskans. Last week, I joined Governor Ricketts in the Capitol rotunda to sign LB873, the historic tax relief bill, into law. This bill reduces the top Nebraska state individual income tax rate by 1%, lowers the corporate income tax rates by approximately 2% on all taxable income in excess of $100,000 by 2027, and phases out the state income tax on social security benefits by 2025.

LB750, one of the Transportation and Telecommunications committee priority bills passed on Final Reading. This bill makes a number of changes related to the Department of Motor Vehicles, and includes one of my bills, LB913, which requires the Nebraska Department of Transportation to reconstruct a highway approach, which is the part of a county road located on the State’s right of way, when it is destroyed by a natural disaster or as a result of faulty engineering. 

LB1144, the other Transportation and Telecommunications priority bill was also passed by the legislature. This bill includes my bill, LB914, which gives the Public Service Commission the authority to create and maintain a Nebraska Location Fabric Broadband Access Map, which would provide valuable information related to broadband availability and quality of service in Nebraska.  LB1144 also includes Senator Dorn’s bill, LB761 which establishes the Precision Agriculture Infrastructure Grant Program, intended to provide high-speed connectivity to farm sites in underserved areas of the state.

I was disappointed to see LB933, a bill introduced by Senator Albrecht fail to overcome a filibuster. This bill would have prohibited the practice of abortion on live, unborn children on the condition that the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade is overturned.

LB773, also a bill I co-sponsored introduced by Senator Brewer, would have authorized the carrying of concealed handguns without a permit in Nebraska. This bill was debated for four more hours on Select File, but ultimately failed to overcome the filibuster and only received 31 of the 33 votes it needed to advance.

My office remains open over the interim, and we will continue to work with different groups, agencies, and constituents on issues that affect District 23 and Nebraska.  I appreciate hearing from constituents and encourage you to contact my office on legislation at 402-471-2719 or bbostelman@leg.ne.gov.

Update 4/14
April 25th, 2022

The 107th Legislature is winding down, and we have finished most of our business for the 2022 session. Only one legislative day remains, which is scheduled to be Wednesday, April 20th. This last day we will convene to pass remaining bills on Final Reading, and then adjourn “Sine Die” until next year.

Governor Ricketts signed, but line-item vetoed portions of all three budget bills, LB’s 1011, 1012, and 1013, removing certain appropriations from the bills, including increased funding for healthcare provider rates. Last week, the legislature debated motions to override the Governor’s vetoes, and all three were successful. The budget bills will now become law as initially passed by the legislature.

LB1014 also passed on Final Reading. This bill appropriates federal funds allocated to Nebraska as part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Over the course of this session, the Appropriations Committee has worked with senators to divide up these one-time funds for various projects across the state.

LB873 passed on Final Reading and was sent to Governor Ricketts for his signature. LB873 is one of the largest tax relief bills in recent Nebraska history, reducing the top Nebraska state individual income tax rate by 1%, lowering the corporate income tax rates by approximately 2% on all taxable income in excess of $100,000 by 2027, and phasing out the state income tax on social security benefits by 2025. Nebraska is currently one of only a few states that still taxes these benefits.

LB873 also ensures that at least $560 million will be allocated for property tax relief going forward into the future, and creates a new income tax credit for property taxes paid to community colleges, in addition to the existing credit available for K-12 schools. This credit you will be able to claim starting next year on your state income taxes.

If you are interested in an opportunity to serve, and are interested in being considered for an appointment to a state board or commission by the Governor, there may be an opening for you. These are great opportunities for citizens across Nebraska to bring their experience or expertise in a particular field to our state government. I would highly encourage those interested to apply.

Gubernatorial appointments are confirmed by committee members during a hearing, and then by the full legislature. During the hearing, the appointee has an opportunity to testify, and members of the public can express their support, opposition, or neutral stance. A list of these openings, as well as information on how to apply, can be found on the Governor’s website which I have linked here: https://governor.nebraska.gov/board-comm-req

I hope everyone has a blessed Easter weekend and is able to spend time with family and loved ones celebrating the joy of Christ’s resurrection. As we transition into interim, my office remains open and we look forward to continuing our work on issues that affect District 23 and Nebraska.  I appreciate hearing from constituents and encourage you to contact my office on legislation at 402-471-2719 or bbostelman@leg.ne.gov.

Update 4/7
April 25th, 2022

The 2022 legislative session is winding down with just four more days left at the time of this publication. All three of this year’s mid-biennium budget bills, LB’s 1011, 1012, and 1013 passed on Final reading and were sent to Governor Ricketts’ desk for his signature. 

LB750, a Transportation and Telecommunications priority bill which includes one of my bills LB913, recently advanced to final reading. My portion of this bill requires the Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) to reconstruct a highway approach, which is the part of a county road located on the State’s right of way, when it is destroyed by a natural disaster or as a result of faulty engineering. Currently, counties are responsible for this maintenance, but many lack the necessary funds or staffing to rebuild these approaches. This bill ensures proper construction in the replacement of destroyed approaches. 

In my last newsletter I mentioned an attempt was made to provide significant income and property tax relief through LB825, but that the bill ultimately failed to advance due to 13 senators being present-not-voting. Last week, a compromise was reached, and we were able to advance LB873 as amended past the first round of debate. LB873 is a significant tax relief bill that does a number of things. 

LB873 reduces the top Nebraska state individual income tax rate from 6.84% to 5.84% over the next six years. Next, it lowers the corporate income tax rates on all taxable income in excess of $100,000 from 7.25% down to 5.84% by 2027. LB873 also phases out the state income tax on social security benefits by 2025 and ensures that at least $560 million will be allocated for property tax relief going forward into the future. Finally, LB873 creates a new income tax credit for property taxes paid to community colleges, in addition to the existing credit available for K-12 schools. 

Overall, Nebraskans can expect to see $886 million in property tax savings as a result of this bill. I am glad to see Senators were able to come to an agreement to provide the much-needed tax relief Nebraskans deserve. I am committed to working to make Nebraska competitive with neighboring states to retain and attract businesses, talent, and people. 

I enjoyed meeting with and speaking to the 4th grade class from Ashland-Greenwood elementary school last week as they toured the Capitol on their field trip. These students had an opportunity to learn about the three branches of government and the history of the Nebraska Legislature. 

I appreciate hearing from constituents on issues affecting District 23 and encourage you to contact my office on legislation at 402-471-2719 or bbostelman@leg.ne.gov.

Update 3/31
April 25th, 2022

The Legislature has less than two weeks of working days left in this session. This past week we debated the three budget bills and moved them to Final Reading. In addition, we debated LB1014, Speaker Hilgers’ bill that appropriates funds allocated to Nebraska as part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Included in this bill is one of my bills, LB1100 which appropriates $1 million for a feasibility study to look at existing electrical generation facilities, and their compatibility with being replaced by advanced nuclear technology. 

Last week we also debated LB825, one of the most significant tax relief bills considered by the Legislature. This bill would have phased out the state tax on social security benefits, reduced state individual income taxes and state corporate income taxes while providing significant property tax relief. LB825 was debated for four hours and failed to advance.  Why? The bill received 32 of the required 33 votes to end debate and take a vote on the bill.   Thirteen mostly urban senators from Lincoln and Omaha were present and did not vote killing the bill. It continues to disappoint me that these Senators continue to oppose property tax and other tax relief that is needed across the state, especially in rural areas that are affected disproportionately. Nebraska has some of the highest taxes in the country and it is troubling to see these Senators continue to stand in the way of bills that would provide the needed tax relief for all Nebraskans. 

Last Friday, we debated Senator Albrecht’s motion to pull LB933 (a bill I have co-sponsored) out of the Judiciary committee in order to be debated by the full Legislature. This bill would adopt the Nebraska “Human Life Protection Act,” prohibiting the practice of abortion on live, unborn children on the condition that the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade is overturned. The pull motion was successful, and LB933 should be debated on the floor during the remaining days of session.  

Registration is now open for the 2022 Unicameral Youth Legislature which will take place June 12th-15th. This is a four-day simulation coordinated by Nebraska State 4-H office and the UNL Extension Youth Development Program where students are given the opportunity to play the role of a state lawmaker. The Youth Legislature is open to all high school students, and provides young Nebraskans who have an interest in government, politics, law, public policy, debate, and public speaking an in-depth learning experience with the Legislature’s process, rules, bills, and support from Senators and legislative staff. Students wishing to apply, please visit nebraskalegislature.gov/uyl, or 4h.unl.edu/big-red-camps. 

I appreciate hearing from constituents on issues affecting District 23 and encourage you to contact my office on legislation at 402-471-2719 or bbostelman@leg.ne.gov.

Weekly Update 3/24
March 24th, 2022

The legislature has less than 15 days remaining of this short 60-day session, and we continue debating bills late into the evening most days of the week.  The focus for the remainder of session will continue to be priority legislation and passage of the budget bills, including federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding.

Most of last week was spent debating the mid-biennium budget proposals.  Three budget bills, LB’s 1011, 1012, and 1013 passed the first round of debate.  The budget includes a number of different items, including money for the Nebraska Capital Construction fund, and money to the Military Base Development fund, money which had previously been set aside for the construction of the U.S. Space Command Headquarters had Nebraska been chosen as the location for the headquarters.

One of my bills, LB1074 was also included in the budget.  This bill creates the surface water irrigation cash fund to be administered by the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources.  Over the interim, we surveyed Nebraska’s irrigation districts to determine the condition, cost, and status of surface water projects and infrastructure in the state.  The findings from this survey showed that many irrigation districts in central and western Nebraska have aging and deterioration problems with some of their critical infrastructure.  This fund ensures our state’s farmers have continued access to essential water.

Speaker Hilgers scheduled debate on Senator Briese’s bill, LB283, first thing on the agenda last Monday morning after we set our clocks forward and resumed daylight savings time. LB283 would implement year-round daylight savings time in Nebraska, provided two conditions are met: First, at least three neighboring states must pass similar legislation, and second, federal law must change to allow states the ability to enact this change.  LB283 passed the first round of debate and was advanced to Select File.

Soon after, the United States Senate passed legislation that would make daylight savings time permanent beginning in 2023.  Proponents of permanent daylight savings time argue having sunlight later into the evening can boost the economy and can reduce seasonal depression.  In the coming days and weeks, we will see what happens with this proposal.

I would like to thank the 4th grade class from St. Wenceslaus Elementary School in Wahoo that I had the pleasure of meeting with and talking to last week.  These students asked some great questions, and had an opportunity to tour the Capitol, listened to floor debate from the balcony, and learn about the three branches of government and the history of the Nebraska Legislature.

I appreciate hearing from constituents on issues affecting District 23 and encourage you to contact my office on legislation at 402-471-2719 or bbostelman@leg.ne.gov.

Sen. Bruce Bostelman

District 23
Room 1210
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
(402) 471-2719
Email: bbostelman@leg.ne.gov
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