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Greetings Northeast Lincoln! The 104th Nebraska Legislature has adjourned sine die. Over 600 bills were introduced this session, and over 240 were passed and approved by the governor. After several weeks of late night debate, the legislature was able to adjourn one day early, saving the state a total of $10,203.
To adjourn sine die means to adjourn without assigning a day for a further meeting or hearing. To adjourn sine die is to adjourn for an indefinite period.
I’m extremely proud of what the Legislature has been able to accomplish this session. We passed a strong budget that includes a $60 million per year increase in the amount transferred to the Property Tax Credit Cash Fund. We passed a bill with broad bipartisan support to allow for the issuance of drivers licenses to Dreamers, giving thousands of Nebraskans a new sense of independence.
I’m also thankful for the passage of three of my bills: LB 240, LB 304, and LB 314.
LB 240, a bill relating to behavioral health; to extend the Behavioral Health Screening and Referral Pilot program an additional two years, and to allow for more clinics to serve as sites for the program.
LB 304, a bill relating to cities and villages; to adopt the Municipal Custodianship for Dissolved Homeowners Associations Act; and to provide a duty for the Revisor of Statutes.
LB 314, a bill relating to county courts; to state matters subject to the jurisdiction of county courts.
This session, I introduced three successful Legislative Resolutions. LR 196 will examine current state statutes governing population thresholds for Nebraska counties. Lancaster county has recently exceeded the 300,000 population threshold, and this study will examine the projected population of Nebraska counties and whether legislation is needed to update current statutes.
LR 335 will examine election law, namely the most recent report published by the Presidential Commission on Election Administration. The commission’s recommendations will be explored to determine what steps Nebraska must take to be in compliance.
Finally, LR 336 will examine the appropriation of funds to the State Department of Education to implement mentor teacher programs. This study will examine mentor teacher programs in other states and how those programs are funded.
ACCESSNebraska has struggled for many years to keep up with it’s workload. It has consistently struggled to provide benefits to Nebraskans in an efficient and effective manner. Problems include long wait times, lost documentation, the adequacy of staffing and training, and the adequacy of the technology used within the system.
The ACCESSNebraska Special Investigative Committee was established with the passage of LR 400 in 2014 by former Senator Annette Dubas. It is the committee’s job to study and investigate the effectiveness of the ACCESSNebraska system. The committee consists of seven members of the Legislature, a legal counsel, and a committee clerk. We will hold hearings and issue subpoenas as deemed necessary. Our first hearing will be held on Friday, July 17th at 1:30 pm.
ACCESSNebraska is Nebraska’s public benefits delivery system and was adopted in 2008 in attempts to modernize the former delivery system.
Now that we have reached the interim, our office will not be sending out a monthly newsletter, but we will continue to keep you up-to date with less frequent newsletters. My staff will continue to be available to you during normal business hours.
We look forward to hearing from you! As always, thanks for reading.