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Bruce Bostelman

Sen. Bruce Bostelman

District 23

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Weekly Article 4/13
April 13th, 2021

Last week, the legislature debated the biennial budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal years, a process outlined by the Nebraska State Constitution and state statutes and enacted in odd-numbered years. Budget bills are introduced by the speaker of the legislature at the request of the Governor. The Appropriations Committee then holds hearings for these bills, and works with the fiscal office to review information and complete a budget recommendation to the full legislature, which is condensed into a budget book.

At least three budget bills must be introduced; one for Senators’ salaries, one for judges’ and other elected officials’ salaries, and at least one, but generally a few that appropriate funds for everything else. A number of budget bills have passed the first round of debate on General File and were advanced to Select File. This week, legislature continued to discuss the budget and after its adoption, we will move on to taxation and spending measures.

The legislature also continues to debate speaker priority bills, senator priority bills, and consent calendar legislation. I want to highlight a few bills that advanced past the first round of debate to Select File.

LB644, introduced by Senator Ben Hansen would adopt the Property Tax Request Act, which aims to increase transparency with regard to property taxes. LB644 would require joint public hearings be held between major taxing entities whenever a political subdivision sets its property tax request at an amount that exceeds the prior year’s request. LB644 also requires that postcards, stating “Notice of Proposed Tax Increase” be mailed out to notify all property taxpayers affected by the proposed increased property tax levy. These postcards would also be required to state the date, time, and location for the public hearing, as well as contact information for each of the participating political subdivisions, and the amount of their property tax request. This bill is still a work in progress, as they are amendments that are likely to be introduced on Select File.

The needs of rural fire departments, and the need for fire protection services in rural areas of Nebraska are increasing. LB664, introduced by Senator Groene, adds $10,000 payments for each qualifying rural and suburban fire protection district, as well as qualifying villages and cities of the second class that are members of the mutual finance organization. This bill would greatly benefit rural fire departments in District 23, and across Nebraska, and is an important bill to show appreciation for the brave firefighters of this state and the invaluable work they do to keep us all safe.

I would like to thank the 4th graders from David City Elementary School that I had the pleasure of meeting last week. These young students had the opportunity to tour the Capitol 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

Sen. Bruce Bostelman

District 23
Room 1210
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
(402) 471-2719
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