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The session is winding down with several key topics still left for the legislature to tackle including the budget, property taxes and education related bills. Several bills were heard on general file last week. LB1005 by Senator Kolterman which would make changes to county or school retirement provisions advanced to select file. LB1009 by Senator Murante to provide a super-two rural highway classification and raise maximum highway speed limits on particular roads was debated. LB1009 advanced to select file with an amendment which struck the interstate speed increase provision from the bill. LB990 introduced by Seantor Wayne which would create the offense of possession of a firearm by a prohibited juvenile defender was advanced to select file. LB1130 introduced by Senator Kuehn which would provide a disclosure requirement for certain tax-exempt organizations under the Nebraska Political Accountability and Disclosure Act was discussed on general file. A final vote on the bill has not been taken. LB295 a bill introduced by Senator Smith which would adopt the Opportunity Scholarships Act and provide taxpayers a non-refundable tax credit equal to the amount the taxpayer contributed to a scholarship granting organization. There was no vote on the bill.
Two of my bills were heard on general file as Committee Priority Bills. LB909 my bill which was used as a vehicle for Transportation and Telecommunication Committee priorities was heard on general file. My LB909 would amend titling and licensing provisions to provide for the designation of vehicle titles as reconstructed or replica and contained other DMV related legislation. LB909 advanced to select file. LB1008 my bill which was selected as a Natural Resource Priority bill was also heard on general file. It would increase liquidated damages amounts for violations of game law and was amended by the committee to include several other natural resource committee priority bills. A provision of the amendment which clarified public records of public power drew a great deal of discussion. A final vote has not been taken on the bill.
The legislature has yet to pass the main budget bill, LB944, as of March 23. The bill failed a cloture vote after debate over a Title X provision. The legislature must pass the budget before the end of session in order to ensure the state remains fully funded until next session.
The legislature was visited by 4th grade students from St. Mary’s School in David City. I enjoyed welcoming the students to the capitol and discussing the legislative process.
For high school students who are interested in learning more about the legislative process there is a great opportunity I would recommend to you. The Clerk of the Legislature’s Office coordinates a four-day legislative simulation each summer that offer high school students a hands-on opportunity to experience the legislative process. The Unicameral Youth Legislature is scheduled for June 10-13 and the registration deadline is May 15th. For more information go to https://nebraskalegislature.gov/education/unicamyouth.php.
I would like to wish everyone a safe and blessed Easter Weekend.