NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE

The official site of the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

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

Update 5/22/23
May 22nd, 2023

As the First Session of the 108th Legislature is winding down we passed the last of the five budget bills on the 80th day. These bills are now off to the Governor’s desk for signing. The budget bills are unique in that the Governor may veto or decrease specific line items in the budget and pass the remaining items. If this occurs, the line item will be returned to the Legislature where we will debate whether we should override the veto which would require a 3/5ths vote of the Legislature. Final Reading bills with general fund impact may now be considered.

In addition to the budget bills, we took up the revenue committee’s second priority bill LB727 on General File. There are 30 bills included in this package. One of which is LB96 that adds twine used in commercial agriculture as exempt from sales and use taxes. The bill defines twine as a strong string of two or more strands twisted together used in the baling of livestock feed or bedding. The bill also updates the definition of net wrap to be plastic wrap used in the baling of livestock feed or bedding.

The revenue package also includes LB4 which will take effect in 2025. The bill changes the homestead exemption process, specifically for permanent and totally disabled veterans or a surviving spouse of a veteran, in order to make it easier to apply and receive an exemption.

LB165 provides for additional qualified withdrawals from Nebraska Educational Savings Trust (NEST) accounts or 529 plans. Specifically, this bill would allow for the withdrawal of funds from a NEST account in order to pay for elementary or secondary education. This change would conform our statutes with federal law which already allows for these withdrawals.

Another bill included in the revenue package is LB384. This bill would direct the sales tax paid on the sale or lease of aircraft to the newly created Department of Transportation Aeronautics Capital Improvement Fund. This fund will be utilized to build, repair, or maintain any infrastructure at any public airport licensed by the Department.
As we approach Memorial Day, I ask that everyone take a moment out of their day to honor and remember the men and women who served, and those who have given their lives while serving our country. We should also remember those who have lost a loved one in the line of duty. We can never forget or diminish the sacrifices these great men and women made for the betterment of our nation.


According to The Department of Veterans Affairs 84 Nebraskans have been lost in the line of duty since 2003. These men and women are being honored on their website: veterans.nebraska.gov/fallen-soliders


For additional or more specific information on bills please visit nebraskalegislature.gov. You may also reach my office at 402-471-2719 or bbostelman@leg.ne.gov.

Update 5/15/23
May 15th, 2023

There are three weeks left in the First Session of the 108th Legislature and we are hitting crunch time. This week we focused on budget bills advancing them to Final Reading to meet the day 80 deadline required by our rules. Once the budget bills are passed, we will take up bills on Final Reading. Bills that have a fiscal impact may not be considered prior to the budget being passed.

One bill included in the budget package was LB281. This bill establishes a matching grant program under the Department of Economic Development for nonprofit 501(c)(3) youth outdoor education camps to repair facilities destroyed by a natural or manmade disaster. One such facility could be the Halsey 4-H camp.

The Legislature also advanced the Education Committee priority bill to Final Reading. This bill is an education package which contains several additional bills. The primary bill, LB705, allocates money received from the Nebraska Lottery to several education funds.

LB385 as amended into LB705 creates the Nebraska Teacher Recruitment and Retention Act. The act would establish a grant program using lottery funds for eligible teachers. New teachers would be eligible for a $2,500 grant at the beginning of years 2, 4, and 6 of their employment. Teachers with a certification in a high-need area such as special education or math will be eligible for a one-time grant of $5,000 after signing a contract to complete a school year of full time employment.

LB583 was also advanced to Final Reading. This bill provides for $1,500 per student in foundational aid to each school district within the school funding formula. Further, the bill also expands State funding for special education by reimbursing 80% of special education costs. The bill will help ease school districts’ reliance on property taxes and ensure our schools have the funds to provide necessary education for children with special needs.

The Legislature ended our week on Thursday by advancing the property tax relief bill LB243, originally introduced by Senator Briese. This bill increases the funding for the Property Tax Credit Fund from $313 million to $560 million. It also requires the fund to grow equal to the increase in assessed value of real property in the state. The bill further creates a new mechanism for the percentage of annual increase that a school district may request in regards to their levy authority.

As a final note, If you ever miss one of my updates or would like to go back to review a previous update they are available online you can visit nebraskalegislature.gov select “senators” on the left side of the page. Click “Senator Webpages” then click “Bruce Bostelman” and finally “Senator Blog” under the resources section of my legislature page.

For additional or more specific information on bills please visit nebraskalegislature.gov. You may also reach my office at 402-471-2719 or bbostelman@leg.ne.gov

Update 5/8/23
May 8th, 2023

This past week we began debate on the budget for the next biennium. LB814 is the mainline budget bill for Fiscal Years 2023 and 2024. The other budget bills, LB813 and LB818 provide for fund transfers and appropriations to state agencies that incurred a deficit. LB814 was replaced by the appropriations committee amendment AM915 which includes the budget recommendations for all state operations and aid programs. I will touch on some of the budget but for more detailed information, I suggest visiting the Legislature website.

Two bills in the mainline budget are in honor of our veterans. LB80 and LB609. LB80 introduced by Senator Aguilar appropriates $8 million to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs for the purposes of construction and improvements to the state veterans cemetery system in Grand Island.

LB609 directs $2.5 million from the general funds to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. The purpose of these funds are to provide grant funding to a nonprofit organization to construct a memorial in honor of the 396 Nebraska military personnel who were killed in action during the Vietnam War. Nebraska is the only state in the nation that does not currently have a memorial dedicated to those who lost their lives in Vietnam.

The budget also includes my bill LB125, I introduced this bill to transfer the interest accrued on the Surface Water Irrigation Cash Fund. This fund was created last year and funded with a $50 million appropriation to help assist our Irrigation Districts with the repair or replacement of their aging infrastructure vital to farmers around the state. This would ensure the interest accrued would go into the fund instead of being put into the General Fund as it does now.

The budget also contained additional funds for property tax relief for Nebraskans. The biennial budget provides an additional $50 million to the Property Tax Credit Fund for FY23-24 and an additional appropriation of $85 million in FY24-25.

In addition, the appropriations committee is also allocating $12.5 million in FY23-24 and $15 million in FY24-25. These funds correspond with the casino gaming tax that is directly credited to the Property Tax Credit Cash Fund. I will continue to update you on the related property tax relief bills when they come back up on the floor.

I want to thank Clarkson Public Schools for their visit to the capitol this past week. It was nice to get to see the young faces of 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students. As the year wraps up for all the students I want to wish you all a wonderful summer and encourage you to stay active and continue to learn and engage in the community around you.

For additional or more specific information on bills please visit nebraskalegislature.gov. You may also reach my office at 402-471-2719 or bbostelman@leg.ne.gov.

Update 5/1/23
May 1st, 2023

As we are pushing the last few weeks of the First Session of the 108th Legislature, we will soon begin debate on the budget bills for this biennium. As these bills are Speaker Major Proposals, Speaker Arch will determine how long we will debate each bill before cloture is invoked.

Last week, we advanced a number of “A-bills” which accompany several bills already discussed that have been passed to Select File or Final Reading. A-bills provide the necessary cash transfers for their companion bill if they have a fiscal note. Until the budget has been passed, any bill which has a companion A-Bill will be held on Final Reading.

On Tuesday, we took up debate on Select File of LB191 introduced by Senator Halloran. This bill was replaced by committee amendment AM1363. This amendment includes LB267, LB460, LB639, LB671, LB666, LB427, and amended provisions of LB249. I will touch briefly on a couple but for more information please see the Nebraska Legislature website.

LB267 prioritizes resources for the protection of critical infrastructure utility workers in the event of a civil defense emergency, disaster, or other emergencies that pose a severe threat to human health. Specifically, the prioritized resources include personal protective equipment, medical screening, testing, preventative health services, medical treatment, and the administration of vaccines.

LB460 requires that the Department of Health and Human Services reimburse the costs for mental health examinations or resilience training that is not covered by a first responders employer. Our first responders risk their lives every day and sometimes witness horrible situations. Ensuring these individuals have the necessary resources to take care of their mental health so they can continue to provide the crucial services that protect Nebraskans every day.

LB427 removes the requirement that out-of-state contractors pay a one-time fee of $25 for when they come into the state to work. The bill further removes the requirement that they pay a fee of $25 for each contract they receive that is at least $10,000.

LB671 amends the Nebraska Worker Training and Support Cash Fund to allow the fund to be used for the retention of existing employees. Currently, the fund may be used to provide training opportunities to expand the Nebraska workforce by increasing the pool of highly skilled workers.

For over 150 years we have been celebrating Arbor Day, Nebraska’s own holiday. It is estimated that more than a million trees were planted on our first Arbor Day back in 1872. Though the holiday has passed, I encourage you to continue celebrating by planting a tree in your area.

For additional or more specific information on bills please visit nebraskalegislature.gov. You may reach my office at 402-471-2719 or bbostelman@leg.ne.gov.

Update 4/24/23
April 24th, 2023

With less than 30 days left in this session, the Legislature is beginning to pass bills on final reading and sending them to the Governor for signing. LB376, is the General Affairs committee priority bill to make changes to the Liquor Control act that I’ve previously discussed. This bill has an emergency clause so it will go into effect the day of the Governor’s signing.

In addition, we also advanced LB254, introduced by Senator Brewer, to Select File. As a reminder this bill would create the digital Internet archive of closed-captioned video coverage of the Legislature. The archive would contain recordings of all committee hearings and floor debate.

Tuesday two additional bills were passed by the Legislature to the Governor for signing. The first bill LB296 introduced by Senator Ballard. This bill Adopts the Pet Insurance Act which establishes a process for the sale and purchasing of pet insurance in Nebraska. The bill ensures that appropriate training and licensing has been completed by an insurer before the sale of insurance.

The second bill passed on Tuesday was LB775, was the second General Affairs priority bill which I’ve previously discussed. LB775 changes provisions relating to horse racing, the Nebraska Bingo Act, the Nebraska County and City Lottery Act, Nebraska Racetrack Gaming Act, and Nebraska Visitors Development Act.

The Legislature also passed the Constitutional Carry bill, LB77, will allow those 21 and older to carry a concealed handgun without a permit. Currently, to carry a concealed handgun an individual must first pay a $100 fee and take a training course. A background check is still required for all firearm purchases. If signed by the Governor the law takes effect 90 days after the end of this session.

My bill, LB565 which is the Natural Resources priority bill, advanced to final reading as amended. The amendment added five additional Natural Resources Committee bills; LB217, LB289, LB395, LB400, and LB425. LB217 extends the sunset date for the Scrap Tire Recycling Program. LB289, which I introduced, allows for the Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska (MEAN) to own and operate advanced metering services. LB395 provides for a slight pay increase for members of the Oil and Gas Commission. LB400 allows for the taking of mountain lions in the process of stalking, killing, or consuming livestock on a person’s property. Finally, LB425 provides, amongst other changes, for an increase in the caps on nonresident fees for a variety of hunting and fishing permits. The bill also allows the Game and Parks Commission to put limitations on nonresident hunting permits for special depredation seasons.

Finally, for those of you interested in the Nebraska Leadership Program, sponsored by the Nebraska Chamber Foundation, the deadline to apply is May 1st. The program is designed to train individuals to become engaged in issues, programs, and activities to better serve Nebraska. You can apply at leadershipnebraska.com.

For additional or more specific information on bills please visit nebraskalegislature.gov. You may reach my office at 402-471-2719 or bbostelman@leg.ne.gov.

Update 4/20/23
April 20th, 2023

This past week the legislature began debate on Senator Brewer’s bill LB254. This bill would require the Legislative Council, through the Executive Board, to develop and maintain a publicly accessible digital internet archive of closed-captioned video coverage of the Legislature. This would include floor debate and public committee hearings starting with the 109th Legislature First Session in January 2025.

Additionally, this week we moved four budget bills to select file: LB282, LB799, LB815, and LB816. LB282 provides payment for claims against the state that are required by statute to be reviewed by the Legislature.

LB799 provides for an increase in the salaries for the Chief Justice and the other justices of the Supreme Court. The salary will be $212,316.37 starting July 1, 2023 and increase to $225,055.35 starting July 1, 2024.

LB815 appropriates funds for the salaries for the members of the Legislature for this biennium. This separate appropriation bill is required by the State Constitution and funds the $12,000 annual salary of each senator and the corresponding employer payroll contribution for Social Security.

LB816 is another budget bill to provide for the salaries and benefits of certain State Officers as required by the State Constitution. This bill includes the salaries for judges, members of the Parole Board, the Tax Commissioner, and Constitutional Officers such as the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, State Treasurer, and Attorney General.

The week wrapped up with LB227, a Health and Human Services committee priority bill introduced by Senator Hansen. The bill provides for an increase in Medicaid reimbursement to a hospital. Additionally, the bill was amended with AM1332 that contained a large number of bills that were heard in their committee.

What we are seeing now in the Legislative process is that committee priority bills are being amended with a number of additional committee bills. If these bills are not amended into the priority bill they would not be considered as there is not enough time remaining in the session for them to be placed on the agenda. You can find more information on the amendment on the Nebraska Legislature’s website.

I want to take a moment and thank former Senator Suzanne Geist for her work in the legislature. Last week she stepped down from her role as representative of Legislative District 25 in order to focus on her campaign for Mayor of Lincoln. I want to wish her luck with her Mayoral race. She will be missed.

On a happier note, Governor Pillen announced his appointment of Senator Carolyn Bosn who was sworn in by Chief Justice Heavican as the new representative for Legislative District 25. Senator Bosn is an attorney and adjunct professor at the University of Nebraska College of Law. Senator Bosn will complete Senator Geist’s term and plans to run in November 2024.

For additional more information on bills please visit nebraskalegislature.gov. You may reach my office at 402-471-2719 or bbostelman@leg.ne.gov.

Update 4/13/23
April 13th, 2023

I hope everyone had a Blessed Easter weekend. We are now 58 days into the first session of the 108th Legislature. Wednesday afternoon we debated LB683 that created the Broadband Office. It was amended to add LB412 which includes two of my bills, LB122 and LB722.

LB122 is a bill related to the One-Call Notification Act. The bill creates a new committee consisting of operators and excavators who will review, determine and assess the potential violations of the One-Call Act. Any violation where penalties are less than $10,000 will be addressed by the newly created underground committee and any violations over $10,000 will be handled by the Attorney General’s office.

LB722 has been introduced to ensure that the state is prepared for the potential $500 million in federal funds over the next few years for the construction of broadband infrastructure. LB722 has three primary objectives. First, it ends the present system of subsidizing two broadband providers to serve the same area. Second, the bill establishes the regulatory certainty needed to make sure funding is used to reach rural areas. Finally, LB722 ensures that Nebraska will be positioned to cover the ongoing costs of operating the network we are building.

Debate also began on LB565 which provides $250,000 in fiscal year 2023-2024 and fiscal year 2024-2025 from the General Funds to the Department of Economic Development to provide grants to the Hydrogen Hub Industry Working Group to continue their work. These grants would be used by the work group for engineering and modeling work to prepare and support the state in competing for one of the Department of Energy’s regional clean hydrogen hub designations.

During the 2022 legislative session a bill to create the Nebraska Hydrogen Hub Industry Work Group was passed and signed into law. Several industries were included in this work group including Monolith Materials, Werner Trucking, Union Pacific, Nebraska Farm Bureau, Tallgrass Energy, and Nebraska Public Power District. This work group would serve to accelerate the development of production, transportation and ultimately consumption of hydrogen-related products in Nebraska and our partner states.

We have had visitors from several schools in the district this past week. Including Cedar Bluffs elementary, Ashland-Greenwood elementary, Yutan elementary, and FFA members from various high schools from both in and outside the district. Thank you for the opportunity to visit with you, it is always an encouragement to visit with our future generations.

This past week I introduced a celebratory Legislative Resolution, LR81, to Congratulate the National Wild Turkey Foundation on celebrating fifty years since their establishment. The NWTF is the largest and longest-serving nongovernmental stewardship partner of the USDA National Forest Services. They have invested more than half a billion dollars to conserve or enhance more that 22 million acres of critical wildlife habitat, forests, and grasslands across public and private lands.

For additional more information on bills please visit nebraskalegislature.gov. You may reach my office at 402-471-2719 or bbostelman@leg.ne.gov.

Update 4/6/23
April 6th, 2023

Last week, the Legislature advanced LB77 to Final Reading. This bill allows those who have already gone through the background checks and meet current standards for open carrying to be able to conceal carry their firearms without a special permit.

The Legislature also spent time debating and advanced a bill that would help with the expansion of broadband to rural unserved areas of our state. LB683 would create the Nebraska State Broadband Office. The office would be responsible for administering federal funds received from the federal Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program. Nebraska has a potential of receiving approximately $400 million for broadband deployment.

The second important tax package bill LB243 was debated and it amends the Property Tax Credit Act. This bill increases the funding for the Property Tax Credit Fund from $313 million to $560 million. It also requires the fund to grow equal to the increase in assessed value of real property in the state. The bill’s amendment includes LB’s 28; 242; 309; 589 and 783 which I will discuss briefly below.

LB28 would require that if an appeal on a property valuation has not been decided when the first half of taxes become delinquent, the valuation will revert to the value of the year prior to the appealed year.
LB242 amends the Nebraska Property Tax Incentive Act to eliminate the 5% cap on allowable growth for the fund.

LB309 increases the interest rate on unpaid balances of refunds or claims that political subdivisions owe to taxpayers from 9% to 14%. This increase would match the interest rate on late payments to political subdivisions owed by taxpayers.

LB589 creates a new mechanism for the percentage of annual increase that a school district can request regarding their levy authority. If a school chooses not to increase its request by the full amount allowed, any increase not used can be carried forward. This levy can be overridden by 60% approval by the voters in a special election or 70% vote of the school board with specific requirements on the School districts.

LB783, with committee amendment, provides state funding for community colleges and only allows them to levy property taxes in two instances. The first instance in which they would have levy authority would be for capital improvements. The second instance would be if the State funding fails to fully fund the College, the Community College Board of Governors could vote to authorize a levy to meet the budget needs.

Finally, from June 11th-14th, 4-H and the University of Nebraska -Lincoln will be hosting a four-day simulation for high school students to take on the role of lawmakers. Students will learn about the inner workings of the legislature directly from senators, staff, and lobbyists. Registration includes lodging, meals, and transportation from UNL’s City Campus to the State Capitol. Early Bird Registration pricing ends April 14th. For more information you can visit www.nebraskalegislature.com/uyl

For additional more information on bills please visit nebraskalegislature.gov. You may reach my office at 402-471-2719 or bbostelman@leg.ne.gov.

Update 3/30/23
March 30th, 2023

This past week was the final week of committee hearings and full day debate began on March 27th. We are now debating priority bills all day and into the evening as the speaker schedules. Committee priority bills will most likely take up most of our time. This week we will look at one of the Revenue Committees priority bills LB754.

LB754 will lower personal and corporate income tax rate for the top tax bracket. This is a gradual reduction that will ultimately stop at 3.99% by 2027 tax year. This bill includes a committee amendment (AM906) which incorporates provisions from the following six related tax bills.

LB38 will allow a deduction from federal adjusted gross income for amounts received as annuities under the Federal employee retirement system or civil service retirement system. This bill does allow withholding of state tax for federal pensions and annuities for retirees of federal agencies.

LB173 clarifies that compensation paid to a nonresident in the state shall not constitute income derived from this state if it meets three different criteria. First, compensation is paid for employment while present in state for 15 days or less. Second, the individual performed employment duties in more than one state during the tax year. Finally, the compensation is not paid for duties performed in the capacity as a professional athlete, professional entertainer, or public figure.

LB318 creates the Child Care Tax Credit Act and allows for eligible parents or guardians a tax credit against tax imposed for qualified individuals whose child receives qualified care or is enrolled in child care subsidy. Parents whose household income is less than or equal to 100% of the federal poverty level also qualify for the tax credit. It also provides a credit equal to either 75% or 100% for taxpayers making qualified contributions to establish or operate qualified programs for child care. A tax credit of up to $2,000 for a household with an income of not more than $75,000 and a $1,000 credit for a household with an income between $75,000 and $150,000. This credit is limited to tax owed and can be carried forward 5 years.
LB492 extends the expiration date on the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that eliminated the factory tax creating the immediate cost recovery for investments in business machinery and equipment used for research or experimental purposes. The Act previously expired on January 1, 2023 and resulted in raised taxes on business investments.

LB497 provides any individual who itemized deductions on their federal tax return shall be allowed to deduct from their federal adjusted gross income either the standard deduction or their federal itemized deductions plus the total amount of state and local property taxes they paid, whichever is greater.

LB641 accelerates the phasing out of taxation on social security benefits by 2024. Previously, taxation of these benefits was set to expire in 2025.

For additional more information on bills please visit nebraskalegislature.gov. You may reach my office at 402-471-2719 or bbostelman@leg.ne.gov.

Update 3/23/23
March 23rd, 2023

The First Session of the 108th Legislature is now over half way through the 90 day session. March 14th was the last day for senators and committees to declare their priority bills. Priority bills are considered ahead of all other bills during floor debate. The only exception is budget bills. Each senator is given one priority bill and committees are given two priority bills and the speaker’s office is given 25 priority bills.

The first Transportation and Telecommunications priority bill is LB683. The bill, with committee amendments, creates the position of state broadband coordinator and establishes the Nebraska Broadband Office whose director is to be appointed by the Governor. The main purpose of the Broadband Office is to administer federal funding for grants to deploy broadband. There are several duties assigned to the broadband office such as providing state advocacy of broadband issues on the federal level, coordinating broadband activity throughout the state, and developing a strategic plan, and developing an official Nebraska location fabric broadband access showing broadband availability.
The Second Transportation committee priority bill is LB412 introduced by Senator Geist. This bill allocates American Rescue Project (ARPA) funds that are eligible for broadband infrastructure projects in the Third Congressional District. This change would allow Capital Project grants to provide high-speed broadband service to an entire exchange area that includes cities of the second class or a village.

Two of my Transportation bills have been amended into LB412. The first is LB122, which is a bill to improve Nebraska’s One-Call Notification System Act. Currently, the Attorney General’s office is unable to address all complaints that are filed. Therefore, the AGs office focuses on the larger violations. LB122 creates a new process which requires all complaints to be filed with the State Fire Marshal. The bill also creates a new committee consisting of operators and excavators who will review, determine and assess the claims. Any violation where penalties are less than $10,000 will be addressed by the committee and any violations over $10,000 will be handled by the Attorney General’s office.

The second of my bills amended into the Committee Priority is LB722. This important bill will help sustain our broadband networks into the future. In Nebraska, companies receive Nebraska Universal Service Funds to help maintain existing networks. Unfortunately, there are still large areas of the State where there is no access. However, there is a potential for over $600 million in state and federal funding to build out these unserved areas. These grants could create a situation where two companies are being subsidized to serve the same area. LB722 ensures this does not happen and creates a process where only one company will be subsidized.

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

Sen. Bruce Bostelman

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

You are currently browsing the archives for the Uncategorized category.

Committee Assignments
    Committee On Committees
    Natural Resources
    Transportation and Telecommunications
    Rural Broadband Task Force
Search Current Bills
Search Laws
Live Video Streaming
View video streamView live streams of floor activity and public hearings

Streaming video provided by Nebraska Public Media

Find Your Senator