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The legislature reconvened this Tuesday following Martin Luther King Jr. Day and picked up on debate of carry-over bills. A majority of the week’s floor discussion focused on two bills by Senator Larson, LB469 and LR18CA. LB469 would adopt the Fantasy Contests Act by codifying in statute how fantasy contest operators are to be licensed and regulated in Nebraska. No vote was taken on the bill. LR18CA would propose a constitutional amendment to change the age of eligibility for public office. This resolution would propose a change to tie the age of eligibility to all public offices to the federal voting age, currently age 18. In Nebraska there are currently differing age limits for different offices. No vote has been taken on the resolution.
Committee hearings started this week on newly introduced legislation. One of my own bills, LB902 had a public hearing on Thursday, January 18th in the Government, Veteran and Military Affairs Committee. LB902 would provide an additional exemption to the public records statute 84-712.05 for information obtained by a government entity regarding certain firearm permit documents. Such information would still be made available to any law enforcement agency.
Chief Justice Heavican delivered the State of the Judiciary on Thursday, January 18 to the legislature. He emphasized the judicial branch’s focus on its work to make the state’s court and probation systems more effective. He also highlighted the great work of creative problem-solving courts including two new veterans’ treatment problem solving courts. The implementation and increasing use of technology within the court system was detailed in the speech. The Chief Justice concluded by expressing the judicial branch’s commitment to an open and fair court system.
All bills for this legislative session have now been introduced and will have a chance to be heard in committee. 482 bills were introduced this session for the legislature’s consideration. There is around 28 bills that deal with agricultural issues including property tax and around 18 bills proposing other tax related changes. I will be watching each of these bills closely as they proceed through the hearing process. I wanted to notify any constituents who may be interested in providing a letter for the record on a piece of legislation in committee on the new committee procedure. Beginning January 23rd letters for the record must be submitted to the Committee Clerk of that Committee by 5:00 P.M. the business day prior to the hearing or they will not be read into the record. You may still send written opinion on legislation throughout the legislative process but if you want your letter read into the formal record at the hearing it must be in by 5:00 P.M. the day before. I look forward to discussing all issues and legislation as each moves through the legislative process and welcome all constituents to contact my office with thoughts on legislation as the session continues.