Welcome

January 7th, 2015

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. Jerry Johnson

Legislative Word in the 23rd- March 20, 2015

March 20th, 2015

I am going to take a break this week from the grind of the legislative session.  I will get back into it next week but this past week, as the chair of the Agriculture Committee of the Legislature, I was invited by Governor Ricketts to accompany him on a state-wide fly-over as part of National Agriculture Week. The Director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Greg Ibach and Steve Nelson from the Nebraska Farm Bureau also were part of the travelling party.  

We began the day in Omaha at Green Plains, Inc., the nation’s fourth largest ethanol producer.  Here the Governor started right in by taking the Environmental Protection Agency to task for for delaying important regulations that are key to ethanol producers.  At issue is the EPA renewable fuel standards requiring what mix ethanol can be blended into the nation’s fuel supply to comply with federal law.  The Governor, to his credit, said basically that big government, “just doesn’t get it”.  I agree.  Not only is agriculture the biggest economic driver in our state, but you would be hard pressed to find many economies across our nation that aren’t impacted by agriculture.  I pointed out the value of an ethanol by-product, distillers grain, that is a left over mash which in turn is a high protein feed supplement for cattle.

We continued on to Broken Bow where we were hosted by their Chamber of Commerce and the Custer County Farm Bureau..  Rural leaders as well as four area FFA Chapters also were in attendance at the noon event.  Custer County every year is one of the biggest ag producing and value added counties in Nebraska.

Moving on we went to North Platte where the Governor held his monthly call-in radio show.  Again, he hit on the idea that in order to grow Nebraska, we have to grow agriculture.  Time and again he said livestock, crop production and most importantly our farmers, ranchers and their families are key to this industry.  Their efforts result in not only local vitality but on the export front, we experienced $6.6 billion in Nebraska exports in 2013.  In 2014, we exported over $1 billion in sales of beef products.  These are big numbers.  These dollars are the result of Nebraska’s largest industry.

The final stop was at the 47th Annual Kiwanis Ag Leaders Banquet in Seward which featured the presentation of Ag awards to three Agri-Business Operations in Seward County.  Close to 500 people were in attendance to hear our travel group discuss various agriculture topics ranging from property tax relief, school aid and other legislative bills of interest.  All of this focused on the Governor’s theme “GROW NEBRASKA & GROW AGRICULTURE”.

 

Sincerely,

 

Senator Jerry Johnson

Legislative Word in the 23rd- March 13, 2015

March 13th, 2015

As we ended this past week in your Nebraska State Legislature, we find ourselves within a day of the halfway point of this session.  Committees are winding up the public hearings that have been assigned to them and the deadline for priority bills to be filed has come and gone.  The priority bill procedure is pretty much what it says it is, senators are allowed to name one bill they deem most important and ask for this favored status. Standing committees of the Legislature are allowed two priority nominations each and the Speaker is allowed 25 priority bills.  You can imagine the load of bills he has to pick through to arrive at his list.

Normally, the priority bill process is a good one.  Every senator is allowed one bill.  The most senior as well as all of the freshmen get one.  It is often pretty difficult for newer lawmakers to get a bill moving so the priority system can help them along.  The problem arises when the Speaker has to start jumping several bills that are on regular General File and moving priority bills up the ladder.  I have a couple of bills that were close to being addressed on General File but have since been moved back to allow for the rush of priority bills.  Somehow I question the overall fairness here but I have been the recipient of this favor in the past so I can only nudge the Speaker a bit and ask him not to forget me.

I selected LB 183, a bill I introduced in cooperation with the Public Service Commission (PSC), for my personal priority bill for this session.  LB 183 would make two significant changes to the Grain Dealers Act.  First, the bill would limit the obligations of the security grain dealers are required to carry to assure payment for grain in the event of a financial failure.  LB 183 would require grain dealer’s security to only cover losses by growers who are not paid for grain that they have delivered to the dealer.

Secondly, the bill tightens the window of time during which those who have sold grain to a dealer may complete actions to be eligible for payments from a grain dealer’s security when they have not been properly paid.  Currently, up to ninety days might elapse before the Public Service Commission became aware of the situation, during which time producers losses can mount quickly and overwhelm the amount of grain dealer security.  LB 183 is intended to provide earlier warning that producers are experiencing problems getting paid for their grain and help limit losses before the PSC can intervene.

In the recent failure of Pierce Grain, the security for its dealer activity is expected to cover just under 10% of the losses growers and others experienced..  LB 183 would help to prevent the protection intended for growers is not so severely diluted.

I know this may sound somewhat technical in nature but my background in cooperative management makes this bill very important to me, grain dealers and producers.

 

Sincerely,

 

Senator Jerry Johnson

Legislative Word in the 23rd- March 06, 2015

March 6th, 2015

Many of you have heard of the sales tax holiday that has been implemented in many states, including Iowa, that usually occurs right before the beginning of the school year and allows sales tax free shopping on certain school items for students to use during their pending academic year.  There are limits to the amount of money that can be spent (typically $100 to $200) and on the school supplies that can be purchased.  This usually means school clothes, shoes and the like.  

This past week, I introduced LB 653 before the Revenue Committee of the Legislature.  It takes the concept of a tax free holiday in a bit of a different direction.  The bill as written, would provide a sales tax holiday for the first full weekend in October each year on sales of Energy Star products.  The products defined in the bill would include dishwashers, clothes washers, air conditioners, ceiling fans, fluorescent light bulbs, doors, windows, dehumidifiers, refrigerators and other products that meet the energy guidelines set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Department of Energy.  They would have to carry an authorized Energy Star label.  Another section of the measure would limit the aggregate total of appliances purchased to $2500.  At the common rate in the state of 5 1/2% state tax and up to 1 1/2% local option rate, a consumer could realize a savings of up to $175.

The limit on the purchase amount would be to minimize the sales tax hit the state, cities and counties would forfeit by passage of this bill.  Obviously the hope is that Energy Star products purchased during this time would result in a significant energy savings as a result of consumers replacing old, inefficient appliances with energy efficient products.  Energy Star certified products will save hundreds of dollars during their useful life compared to non-certified items.  It is estimated that Energy Star light bulbs for instance, use 70%-90% less energy.  The consumer should see a difference in operational costs while Nebraska would be edging closer to achieving a sustainable energy policy.

Thursday March 12 is the deadline for committee and senator priority bills to be turned in.  Each senator can name a bill as his or her priority measure and each committee can name two such bills.  There is another avenue that can be taken as well.  The Speaker of the Legislature can name 25 bills as his priority.

I am not ready to name my priority bill or committee priority bills yet, but one of the committee priority bills will be some sort of a combination of the dog and cat protection bills we heard earlier this year.  I want the Department of Agriculture as well as the Governor to see that we are taking this “puppy mill” problem seriously in the Agriculture Committee and in the Legislature.  It truly is a problem that has gone on way too long.

Finally, the 2015 Unclaimed Property Report has been issued by State Treasurer’s office.  Sadly, while I saw a few Johnsons, I didn’t see my name among the lucky ones on the list but, a quick scan revealed many familiar names to me from District #23.  Please call 402-471-8497 or outstate at 877-572-9688.  You can also go online at treasurer.nebraska.gov.  Help out the State Treasurer who is holding more than $135 million in unclaimed property for over 350,000 Nebraskans.

 

Sincerely,

 

Senator Jerry Johnson

Legislative Word in the 23rd- February 27, 2015

February 27th, 2015

As you know, there are several sub-committees or standing committees here in the Legislature.  The membership on these committees consists of members of the legislative body.  Most of these committees can be pretty well described by their names, i.e. Banking, Transportation, Agriculture, Natural Resources etc.  There are 14 of these committees and every senator serves on one or more of these committees.  The only committee that meets every day of the week is the Appropriations Committee which prepares and presents our budget to us each year.  Their findings are the beginning blueprint for the way we will allot the money that the state brings in through various revenue sources (taxes).  We as a legislature are required to produce and pass a balanced budget.  Other than this requirement, we really have no other mandated obligations.  

We had the first draft of the preliminary budget given to us this past week and really there are no surprises here.  The committee proposes an $8.7 billion plan.  As you can guess, corrections, education, Medicaid and the University of Nebraska system use a big part of the money at hand.  This last week the committee started hearing from agencies that must submit and defend their budgetary requests.  After hearing the requests from these groups then the Appropriations Committee will hear from senators interested in gaining some financial help as well.  I will have a bill before this committee (LB 263) in a couple of weeks that will seek to obtain funding to help the Main Street Program.  Those of you that know me know that I strongly support economic development in our smaller communities.  This program provides technical assistance in downtown revitalization to Nebraska communities.  I’ll speak of this measure later in the spring.

All of my colleagues realize we have to spend money to keep the ship of state moving forward.  Many also see that we have close to $750 million in our cash reserve or rainy day fund and this can have a “blood in the water” effect on some.  The Appropriations Committee has a difficult job that really has only just begun.

There also is a grouping of committees known as Special Committees.  These are comprised of such things as building and maintenance, audit, legislative planning and the like. The Executive Board of the Legislature is included in this group..  By law, this board employs personnel and sets salaries as needed to carry out the intent and activities of the Legislature. The Exec Board also is responsible for ruling on constitutional amendments that govern the Legislature, candidate eligibility, senator’s salaries, term limits and legislative ethics just to give you a partial list of responsibilities.  This committee also can and does hold hearings if necessary on some of the issues described above.

This past week the Board heard testimony on a constitutional amendment that, if passed, would require a state-wide vote to become law.  LR 7CA would still retain the notion of term limits that state senators serve under but instead of two four year terms the terms would be expanded to six year terms.  This length of time is not unheard of, our Board of Regents at the University of Nebraska are elected to 6 year terms as are the United States Senators from each state.  I know we have voted on a variation of this over the years but usually this included allowing senators to serve a third four year term.  This bill saves a campaign season which has become more and more costly over the years.  More important than cost containment is the loss of institutional memory involved with a quick turnover in the body.  This is an issue that affects us all in one way or another.  Some pick up the system just a little quicker than others and excellent leadership is shown the door after a relatively short time.  I know there are arguments against this idea specifically centering on the ideas of eight years, take it or leave it.  You know what you get when you run the first time.

I’ll admit, I find this idea interesting.  We’ll see where it goes.

 

Sincerely,

 

Senator Jerry Johnson

Legislative Word in the 23rd- February 20, 2015

February 20th, 2015

We still have approximately 4 weeks of public hearings left before we begin all day debate here in the Legislature.  It is at this time that the Speaker of the Legislature has several responsibilities aside from his normal routine that are most important.  He has to continually take the pulse of the body on the floor and of his committee chairs urging them to move bills along that they feel are worthy of moving to General File.  Also, in years past we have been told not to worry about feelings but rather kill any measure that just doesn’t look like it will measure up to further scrutiny.

Last week, I told you about a bill that I had to withdraw because I knew it was just not ready and it didn’t measure up.  Another bill requiring vaccinations for meningitis was bracketed until June 5th, the last day of the session for this year and, while not dead, it will not receive any more attention this session.  That is the same fate the has happened to LB 111, the Voter I.D. bill. This bill would require a state picture I.D. of some sort that would have to be produced to poll workers when voting in person.  If my e-mails are any indication, this bill has strong support in District 23 and from what I am hearing it has this same level of support across the state.  Here is another area that the Speaker must be aware of, the filibuster or extended debate on an issue. A senator got up on LB 111 on Select File and pronounced that he was going to filibuster this bill.  The trouble was, this senator had not counted on a bracket motion being filed.  The motion was filed and this bill also has been bracketed to the last day of this session, June 5th.  Again, these bills are not dead but won’t pass this year.  It does look however, like June 5th is shaping up to potentially be a busy day.

Property tax and prison bills are now being heard and soon will be emerging from committee and coming before us.  As to prison bills which encompass everything from good time release, overcrowding, possible new prison construction and on and on, well I know many of you still read newspapers or follow the news on other social media and the situation is as bad as we thought. The new administration has appointed new leadership for our prison system.  This will be a huge undertaking that will not be solved quickly but it must be taken care of.

Property tax bills are coming at a pretty rapid pace as well.  It appears that there are multiple bills that want to reduce ag land valuations which have sky-rocketed the last several years. This is needed no matter how small a cut might be made.  The popular path here is reducing the tax from the current 75% of value to 65%.  Some call this a “band-aid”, others call it a beginning. Either way we have to begin to act.  Other ideas range from decreasing local property taxes and increasing income tax to reducing income taxes and providing $80 million in additional property tax credits.  Both plans include the 10% reduction in ag land valuation.  I’m not sure increasing taxes of any kind will solve the problem we find ourselves in presently.  Some feel increasing income tax revenue, and using this for our schools would help provide more state funding and provide property tax relief.  I’ll have to hear more about these proposals.  I don’t want to promote tax shifts in the hope that the equation will balance out.  Presently, if we take from one bucket such as property tax reduction, we very well will face issues at the local level in our counties and cities.  If we reduce funding levels here then local entities will have to face the dilemma of cutting services or raising taxes to provide the same levels of service.  The issue here is pretty evident, the “how do we do it” needs work.

 

Sincerely,

 

Senator Jerry Johnson

Legislative Word in the 23rd- February 13, 2015

February 13th, 2015

This past week here in Lincoln started and ended under rather difficult circumstances.  As we began the week, it became apparent I was going to be forced to remove a bill from consideration that I had introduced.  Luckily LB 262 had not been scheduled for a hearing but after several meetings with the parties that brought this bill to me, an agreement was not going to be reached in time to save this measure.  The bill dealt with the Dairy Industry Development Act and more specifically a check-off that producers were paying.  To put it simply, the check-off dollars weren’t going where some of the producers wanted this money to go.  At one time the producers could expect a refund of this money but federal rulings removed that option.  LB 262 was crafted to at least allow producers to have a say where this money might go.  As you can see, the ultimate goal here is to develop the dairy industry in Nebraska.  

In the last 20 years the number of dairy cows has declined over 30%.  Taking into account only the last 15 years, studies show the state has lost over 550 dairies leaving 195 dairy farms, mainly in the eastern part of the state.  The thought is that if processors can be brought to the central and western parts of the state, so can producers.  The Nebraska division of the Midwest Dairy Association wants to send the message that water, land and opportunity are in Nebraska and it is a great place to locate.

To be honest, we couldn’t agree on language to satisfy everyone and the group didn’t want to appear fractured during a public hearing.  We’ll work more on this issue over the summer and try to get something together for next session.

We ended the week spending parts of two days and close to 4 hours debating LB 18 on Select File.  As many of you know, this is the second round of debate before a bill becomes law.  As introduced, this bill would have required students entering the 7th grade and for students entering the academic year after the student turns 16, to be immunized for meningitis using a recommended vaccine.  The recommendation would come from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  This vaccination would be added to the list of required vaccinations already found in statute.  There are a couple of instances when students would not be required to get an immunization.  If there are legitimate health reasons as attested to by a health professional focusing on this individual or if a parent or guardian attests to religious conflicts with an immunization to be administered, then the student would be found to be exempt.

I heard from many of you that are opposed to immunizations.  Some for this specific disease and some in general.  Some of you related stories to my staff of health issues that were felt to be an adverse reaction to immunizations.  Senators opposing this bill seemed to agree and to say they just didn’t want anymore mandates.  I have to be honest with you, you would want it that way.  I agreed with LB 18.  I was immunized for the various childhood diseases and so were my children.  I just feel that scientific evidence and numbers are in favor of those getting immunized.

Before you call in, note that a bracket motion was filed on LB 18 at the end of debate on the measure.  A bracket motion means a bill is put off until a specific day to be debated again.  LB 18 was bracketed until June 5, 2015 and the vote was unanimous.  That is the last day of the session.  It will not allow lay-over time.  LB 18 will not proceed this year.

Sincerely,

 

Senator Jerry Johnson

Legislative Word in the 23rd- February 06, 2015

February 6th, 2015

I am sure many, if not most of you, know that any bill introduced before the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature receives a public hearing.  This is a unique feature that is part of our system.  What you might not be aware of is that many department heads of the various state agencies also appear for confirmation before the various sub-committees and eventually need confirmation by the full legislative body.  This is a statutory requirement that must be fulfilled even though the Governor makes the initial appointment.

The directors of the Department of Roads, Natural Resources, Labor, Banking, Motor Vehicles, Correctional Services and even the State Patrol must eventually be affirmed by the Legislature according to statute.  The Director of Agriculture for the Department of Agriculture also is included in this group and this appointment came before the Agriculture Committee of the Legislature two weeks ago.  In years past most appointments were mere formality but we have seen a move to get away from the “rubber stamp” method and it was very evident at this hearing. There was a strong presence at the hearing against the re-appointment of the current director.  During his time in office it was said his Department allowed “cruel neglect” at dog and cat breeding operations in Nebraska.  A rescue operation  from Auburn, Nebraska began an online petition to block the re-appointment and in just a few days had well over 4000 signatures.  Several witnesses expressed a dissatisfaction with the Department’s implementation and management of the Commercial Dog and Cat Operator Inspection Act under the current director’s leadership.

While I did  join the majority of the committee in forwarding this appointment to the full Legislature, I do not take lightly the concerns that were expressed.  We will have four bills that come before the Agriculture Committee on February 17 pertaining to the Dog and Cat programs.  Two of these bills will be specifically focused on assisting the department along with local law enforcement agencies and animal welfare groups to intervene when operators fail to meet their ownership responsibilities by providing healthy surroundings for animals in their care.  Additionally, I want to pursue dialogue and action if need be with the Department and the animal welfare constituency to continue to improve the program.  During the hearing, some groups, while critical of the program, did testify to what they felt had been improvements in the Department in the last year.

Governor Ricketts has said he will make sure the state takes the appropriate steps to improve inspection and enforcement programs.  He has heard from several rescue groups that have highlighted the problem and he has assured them the situation will continue to improve.

The full Legislature did approve the re-appointment of Greg Ibach as the Director of the Department of Agriculture.

Sincerely,

 

Senator Jerry Johnson

Legislative Word in the 23rd- January 30, 2015

January 30th, 2015

It is amazing how a couple of weeks of nice weather seem to make the winter go by faster.  I look and realize we also just finished our first month of this legislative session.  By the time most of you read this we will have completed close to 20 working days of this 90 day gathering.

While a good share of the “major” bills are just starting to be heard by committee, other measures are advancing to, and being heard on General File.  I say major bills because I think we can break down what appears to be on virtually all of my colleagues minds as having the most importance.

There is a strong group of senators that feel property tax correction is the most important area to address this year.  Another group says prisons and prison reform are the most important issues we will face this year.  There is another group that always has school funding issues at the top of their list.  These and a couple of other areas, not the least of which will include discussion and the required passage of a balanced budget, will occupy plenty of the debate time on coming dockets.  I haven’t declared an area of greater importance than another because it will take all of us, working together, and sometimes voting for something for the greater good, to move this along.

I introduced LB 135 this year, a carry-over from last year that concerns townships and more particularly, inactive townships.  There has been an ongoing issue with regard to townships and in particular, those local subdivisions that cannot get people to serve on their boards.  These entities have taxing or more accurately, levy authority.  Without a township board to release funds to meet the legal obligations of the township, counties which contain the boundaries of the township are forced to provide services and maintenance for the area in question.  This creates a burden on the county not only financially, but logistically.  County personnel have to perform duties at county expense to create safe conditions for the general public which usually means road grading and maintenance.  It is also unfair to the rest of the county to use general funds for this purpose.   LB 135 would allow the county board to access these funds until a new township board, if ever, is put in place.  There is a similar bill that was heard that contained virtually the same language regarding this problem and it advanced.  In the spirit of voting for something for the greater good, I will support this bill.  I didn’t like some of the language of this alternate measure.  I felt LB 135 gave more immediate help to the county boards but the main issue is access to funds and fairness to the county.

We have spent parts of several days on LB 88.  This bill would raise the fee to get a marriage license from the current $15 to $50.  The sponsor, a former county board member, felt here is an area (of which there are many) that counties should not have to bear an unequal share of the cost of administration which currently is estimated at $55 per application.  There have been attempts to amend this amount down to $35 but several senators feel this is an unfair and too drastic of an increase.  We will soon take a vote to end debate on the bill and then vote on the bill. I have a bill in the Ag Committee to increase the dog and cat licensing fee by 25 cents.  Wonder what will happen there.

 

Sincerely,

 

Senator Jerry Johnson

Legislative Word in the 23rd- January 23, 2015

January 23rd, 2015

The table has been set, it is time to fish or cut bait.  You probably wonder just what the heck I am talking about.  Well, here in the Nebraska Legislature we have just finished the first 10 days of the session.  The importance of this date is that no more bills can be introduced for consideration this year.  It seems that in each of my earlier years here we have had constituents and others contacting us to introduce legislation on one topic or another well past the time allowed for introductions and some have been quite unhappy to learn that the rules just don’t allow it.  One of the unique things about our legislature, compared to other states, is that every bill introduced will have a public hearing.  If we allowed unending bill introduction, I am afraid we could never finish the work we do here on an annual basis.

Following along with the above, we had 655 bills and 4 constitutional amendments introduced this year.  You probably have read or heard about many of these ideas already.  Judging from our e-mails and regular mail, there are many areas that are of interest to you and will be to me as well.

One bit of advice I have received and have tried to follow here is that I don’t get too involved in most of the issues unless they are advanced from the various committees to General File, for the first round of debate before the full legislative body.  Obviously, my staff or myself continues to look over the multitude of bills before us and “monitor” their progress as many like to say.  Naturally, I participate in the bills that I introduce, totaling 10 personal bills this year and several other committee bills from the Agriculture Committee for which I am responsible as well as the bills before the other committees to which I am assigned.  Often, what a bill looks like today however, is nowhere near what comes out at the end of the session due to amendments, mergers with other bills, etc.  I hesitate to “sign on” to certain pieces of legislation that I feel have a significant chance for change and I certainly don’t want to tell you that I support something and then watch it change or become a part of something else which I can’t support.

Also this past week we heard the first State of the State address given by Governor Ricketts.  As with most speeches of this type, the hopes are many but the Legislature is a separate branch of government from the Governor so at this point we can only hope for consensus on most issues.  The speech centered on several points that have had extensive media coverage as well as the cost for these programs and just the general cost of running the state.  Remember, for the first time in many years, we have a trained businessman in the top spot with little to no political experience.

The governor, among several issues, proposed a two-year, 3.1 percent budget growth rate.  He asked for $57 million in new money to be spent on prisons over a three year period.  Following a theme he put forth during his campaign, he wants $400 million returned to the taxpayers from the Property Tax Credit Relief Fund  and $120 million in property tax cuts.  He included increases for state aid to schools, the University of Nebraska system as well as state colleges.  Increases in provider rates for child welfare, developmental disabilities, federal Medicaid match money and over $17 million in reimbursement to the federal government for mistakes made in foster care payments.  These ideas and others were presented while also promising no tax increases.

This all sounds ambitious at this point of the legislative session but I guess now we’ll see where the rubber meets the road.

 

Sincerely,

 

Senator Jerry Johnson

Legislative Word in the 23rd- January 16, 2015

January 16th, 2015

Greetings from your Nebraska State Legislature.  My name is Jerry Johnson and I am the state senator representing Legislative District #23.  This district includes all of Butler and Saunders Counties as well as most of Colfax County excluding the northwest quarter of the county bounded by County Rd. P on the south and Hwy 15 on the east.  I am entering my third year representing this district and consider it an honor to be here to serve you.  This column, which has been made possible thanks to the generosity of the local newspapers in and around the district, will appear for the most part on a weekly basis during the legislative session.

Generally, I will be discussing bills I have introduced or co-signed however, often my focus may well be on topics related to agriculture.  The reason for this is that I was elected as the Chairman of the Agriculture Committee of the Legislature on the first day of the session.  This honor has resulted in a few new responsibilities as well as one noticeable improvement, a bigger office.  I am now located in Room #1022.  This is just inside the west entrance to the capitol building and allows more space for meetings, one additional staff person and more room to generally stretch out after spending two years in what we affectionately called a “bowling alley” office.  To those of you who visited, you know what I am referring to.

As I write this article, we are just finishing the eighth day of the session.  The first ten days are reserved for bill introduction and as of today we have around 500 bills that have been introduced.  We will top the 700 mark by the time we adjourn on the 10th day.  This has been the normal amount for the last several years.

I looked at one of the articles I wrote last year and noted that 17 senators would be term limited out of office and predicted a group that would be very unpredictable and referred to them as a wild card.  Well, that prediction came to pass and now we have 18 new senators and a new governor and again I will say this new group again is the wild card because we don’t know for sure much about these folks yet.  What we do know is that they won elections in their home districts, that they are competent in the eyes of the local voters who sent them here and I look forward to working with all of them.

Above I said I would be writing about bills I am introducing this year and bills that will come before the Ag Committee.  Other bills of interest may find their way onto these pages but I will be listening to the issues that you will be bringing to me as well.  The people of the State of Nebraska drive what we do here.  I can be reached electronically at jjohnson@leg.ne.gov.  If you prefer regular mail send to Senator Jerry Johnson, Legislative District #23, State Capitol Bldg., PO Box 94604, Lincoln, NE  68509-4604 or pick up the phone and call me at 402-471-2719.

I want to thank you for your support and I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Senator Jerry Johnson