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It has been yet another busy week in the Nebraska Legislature! We began late night debates this week which will continue on and off throughout the rest of the legislative session.
The theme of this week seemed to center around our state finances. We began this legislative week on Tuesday, May 7th and the debate centered on property tax relief that afternoon. We began discussions on LB289 introduced by Senator Linehan and the amendment from the Revenue Committee to make changes to property taxes in the state by raising the sales tax and eliminating sales tax exemptions.
Once debate on LB289 began it went on for a total of 3 hours. I am hesitant to raise sales taxes and unfortunately raising sales taxes is a part of the bill. There are still discussions and negotiations about the bill going on and I believe that it will come back up before session ends.
On Wednesday, May 8th we began our Nebraska State Budget debate. When it comes to the budget it is often hard to predict how the conversation will go. I am very happy to say this year it went very smoothly. There were a few tweaks made in the budget which allowed us to give our constituents some property tax relief. We passed an amendment that added $25 million more to the property tax credit relief fund. I was very pleased with how the budget turned out and how well the debate went.
Today, Friday, May 10th we discussed our consent calendar bills. The consent calendar is a portion of the agenda in which relatively noncontroversial bills are considered and quickly advanced to the next legislative stage. Usually, a bill on consent calendar can be debated for no more than 15 minutes.
My bill, LB561 to adopt updated audit standards under the Legislative Performance Audit Act, was placed on the consent calendar. I introduced this bill because I am the Chair of the Legislative Performance Audit committee. The bill made simple updates to the auditing standards for the Legislative Audit Office. It assists the Audit Agency in maintaining its compliance with Federal Audit Standards. There was no opposition to the bill and it passed 35-0.
As always, feel free to contact my office. My office phone number is 402-471-2731 and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.