NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE
The official site of the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

Sen. Mark Kolterman

Sen. Mark Kolterman

District 24

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 mkolterman@leg.ne.gov

Weekly Column – January 18th

January 18th, 2019

As we wind down the first full week of the new legislative session, senators are working vigorously to introduce bills before the Day 10 deadline this coming Wednesday.  Senators can only introduce bills for the first ten days, and there are currently around 500 bills that have been introduced.  At this time, I have introduced twenty five bills, many dealing with retirement issues, but they also include better access to health care for rural Nebraskans, insurance oversight, and patient safety.  For more information regarding each bill, committee hearing date, and bill status can be found on the Unicameral’s website: www.nebraskalegislature.gov.

As your representative for Legislative District 24, I continue to be very concerned about the high property taxes in our state.  These property taxes impact all citizens who own property, from our retired senior citizens to our farmers and ranchers who rely on the land for their income. The economy in the State of Nebraska relies heavily on agriculture, and with the down turn in the farm economy, we need to work hard to find real and meaningful property tax relief.  Governor Ricketts has brought three property tax relief measures for the Legislature to discuss.  His budget provides for $51 million dollars in new, direct property tax relief through the Property Tax Credit Relief Fund each year, establishing a statutory floor of $275 million for the Property Tax Credit Relief Fund, and establishing a three percent camp on property taxes levied by local governments.

As a new member on the Revenue Committee, I will work as diligently as I can to develop the best way, in partnership, to address the revenue challenges Nebraska faces.  Most likely, the solution will involve further financial restraint, reliance on money from the cash reserves and tax reductions to help spur more growth in our local economy.

On Tuesday, Governor Ricketts delivered his annual State of the State address.  Governor Ricketts highlighted economic achievements for the State such as being the number one state for fiscal condition, the number two state in the union for cost of doing business and regulatory environment, the third highest wage growth since 2014, the fourth best workforce participation rate and the sixth lowest employment rate.

I wish to highlight one more item from Governor Ricketts address.  In explaining what his administration is doing in terms of value-added agriculture, he brought up the Schulz family of Seward County, a family which recently gained approval to raise chickens for Costco.  I was honored to have three generations of the Schulz family join me for the State of the State address.

As always, if we can be of assistance to you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact my office. My door is open and I have made it a goal to be accessible to the constituents of our district. Please stop by any time. My e-mail address is mkolterman@leg.ne.gov, and the office phone number is 402-471-2756. Tyler and Katie are always available to assist you with your needs. If I am not immediately available, please do not hesitate to work with them to address any issues that you may need assistance. Please continue to follow me on Facebook at Kolterman for Legislature and on Twitter at @KoltermanforLegislature.

 

Greetings and Happy New Year!  I hope everyone was able to spend time with loved ones during the Christmas season.

The 106th Legislative Session kicked off on Wednesday, January 9.  This year we will conduct a 90-day session, also known as the long session, with the expected adjournment date in early June.  There are many changes to the makeup of the legislative body.  We welcome 13 new Senators in the freshman class, and 8 of the 14 Standing Committees will have new chairpersons leading the way.

Senator Jim Scheer of Norfolk was re-elected as Speaker of the Legislature.  Other notable chair races include Mike Groene of North Platte defeating Rick Kolowski of Omaha for chair of the Education Committee and Lou Ann Linehan of Elkhorn defeating Brett Lindstrom of Omaha for chair of the Revenue Committee.  Other Chairmanships of note were John Stinner of Scottsbluff being re-elected as Appropriations Committee Chairman, Steve Lathrop of Omaha being elected as Judiciary Committee Chairman, and Matt Williams of Gothenberg being elected as Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee Chairman.

Without opposition, I was unanimously re-elected as chairman of the Retirement Committee.   Moving forward in my role, I intend for the Retirement committee to continue its work in protecting the plans assets, responsibly managing taxpayer dollars via the State’s contribution to the plans, while fulfilling the promised return to our retirees.

This year I will continue to serve on the Banking, Commerce, and Insurance Committee and I will be a new member of the Revenue Committee, a committee tasked with taxes and revenue.  I am also excited to announce that I have been selected by my peers to serve on the Executive Board of the Legislature, which supervises all legislative services and employees.

The Legislature faces many challenges this year, the greatest being a budget shortfall to the tune of roughly $95 million.  Governor Pete Ricketts and the Legislature will have to work together in order to make difficult, yet appropriate funding cuts to balance the budget while maintaining the state’s statutory duties.  The Legislature will examine tax reform while taking a close look at ways to relieve property tax burdens.  I know taxes are an important issue to all Nebraskans and we will work diligently to find solutions to our tax challenges.

In Nebraska, the first ten days of session is the only time Senators are allowed to introduce legislation.  While I do not know all the bills that will be introduced at this time, I foresee that some of the bills and issues to garner attention this year are property tax reform, corrections reform, medical marijuana and the funding of Medicaid expansion.

This year, I am excited to welcome Tyler Mahood to my team.  Tyler will serve as my legislative aide, assisting me with legislation, constituent issues, and communications.  Tyler comes to my office via Senator Merv Riepe’s office, where he served as committee clerk for the Health and Human Services Committee for the previous two years.  We are excited to have Tyler as part of our team and I look forward to him getting to know the wonderful constituents of District #24.

As always, if we can be of assistance to you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact my office. My door is open and I have made it a goal to be accessible to the constituents of our district. Please stop by any time. My e-mail address is mkolterman@leg.ne.gov, and the office phone number is 402-471-2756. Tyler and Katie are always available to assist you with your needs. If I am not immediately available, please do not hesitate to work with them to address any issues that you may need assistance. Please continue to follow me on Facebook at Kolterman for Legislature and on Twitter at @KoltermanforLegislature.

Welcome

January 9th, 2019

Thank you for visiting my website. It is an honor to represent the people of the 24th 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. Mark Kolterman

Sen. Mark Kolterman

District 24
Room #2004
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2756
Email: mkolterman@leg.ne.gov
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