NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE
The official site of the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

Sen. Matt Hansen

Sen. Matt Hansen

District 26

News for the 26th

February 28th, 2017

Greetings Northeast Lincoln!

The One Hundred Fifth Legislature officially began on January 4th, 2017.


This legislative session, I have introduced 20 bills. Of these 20 bills, 10 have had a public hearing, and 10 more are scheduled through March. Four of my bills have been voted out of committee. LB93, LB146, and LB519 are on the first round of debate, General File. LB113 was recently advanced to Select File.


LB93

LB93 would adopt the Automatic License Plate Reader Privacy Act. It is intended to create policies for law enforcement agencies who are using automatic license plate reader technology by spelling out who can use the reader and how the data can be retained and used. Seeing the limited use currently in Nebraska, it would be prudent for the Legislature to take a proactive approach before the technology expands further, so all law enforcement agencies and citizens can share an understanding of how the technology can be used. The bill is the result of a year’s worth of discussions with the Nebraska State Patrol, the City of Lincoln, and other stakeholders.

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Introducing LB93 in front of the Judiciary Committee. Image courtesy of Unicameral Update.

LB146

LB146 would allow for infractions to be set aside under the same manner that is currently available for misdemeanors and felonies. This gives our lowest level offenders an opportunity to clean up their record and helps them become and remain productive members of our community.

LB113

LB113 is designed to change population threshold provisions relating to municipalities and eliminate obsolete provisions. The bill would update statutes that reference city population thresholds and add clarifying language. LB113 is the result of the findings of LR526, an interim study conducted by the Urban Affairs Committee during the 2016 interim, and was supported by the League of Municipalities and the City of Lincoln. LB113 was advanced to Select File on February 16th, on a vote of 41-0.

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LPS Elementary Students from Huntington, Brownell, Riley, and Pershing stopped by the Capitol this month. It was wonderful to meet them and answer their questions!

 

Thanks to everyone who has called, sent letters, e-mailed, or stopped by our office to share your views! We hope you’ll continue to let us know what is important to you. If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at (402) 471-2610 or email us at mhansen@leg.ne.gov. We look forward to hearing from you! As always, thanks for reading.

News for the 26th

January 31st, 2017

Greetings Northeast Lincoln!

Happy New Year! The One Hundred Fifth Legislature officially began on January 4th, 2017.


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The First Session of the 105th Legislature officially began on Wednesday, January 4th, as ordered in the state constitution, “commencing at 10 a.m. on the first Wednesday after the first Monday in January of each year.” The 17 new members of the Legislature were sworn in, along with the eight re-elected members, and committee chairs were elected. The next 10 days of session were filled with introducing legislation and the start of committee hearings. I was appointed to serve on the Business and Labor Committee, the Judiciary Committee, and the Urban Affairs Committee. During the last session, I served on the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, the General Affairs Committee, and the Urban Affairs Committee, so I am looking forward to learning about the new issues and challenges facing our state. I am also honored to announce that I was elected to be vice-chairperson of the Urban Affairs Committee, as well as appointed to the Planning Committee.

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We’ve moved!

Our office moved into a new space at the beginning of session. We are now located in room 1017, in the northwest corner of the Capitol.

How the Legislature Works: A Brief Look

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During the first ten days of the legislative session, senators can introduce bills, and these bills are referred to various committees. Once a bill is in committee, it has a hearing, and is voted on by the senators on the committee after the hearing. If a bill makes it out of the committee, it is placed onto general file. During the general file stage, senators consider amendments proposed both by committees and individual senators. A majority vote of the Legislature, or 25 votes, is needed to move a bill from general file to the next stage of debate, called select file. Select file is the second debating and voting stage where additional amendments can be added and voted upon. Once a bill is approved on select file, it moves to final reading, where it cannot be amended further, and is constitutionally required to be read aloud in its entirety by the Clerk of the Legislature. A proposed constitutional amendment requires a three-fifths vote of the elected members (30) to place it on the general election ballot and a four-fifths vote (40) to place it on a primary or special election ballot. A bill with an emergency clause requires a vote of two-thirds (33 members) of the Legislature. All other bills without an emergency clause require a simple majority vote before going to the governor. After the Legislature passes a bill on final reading, it goes to the governor for consideration. The governor has five days, not including Sundays, to decide what to do with a bill. If the governor signs a bill or declines to act on it, the bill becomes a state law. The governor may veto a bill, and he has the authority to strike specific budget appropriations (line-item veto). The Legislature may override any gubernatorial veto, although it takes a vote of 30 senators to do so.

Information from the Nebraska Legislature webpage, www.nebraskalegislature.gov.

Bills Introduced

The following legislative bills are those I have introduced this session. You can find more information about the bills I and other senators have introduced on the Nebraska legislature website, www.nebraskalegislature.gov or by clicking on the bill title. Feel free to reach out to our office if you’re having trouble navigating the website.

I will provide more in-depth coverage as session goes on.

  • LB64-Adopt the Adrenal Insufficiency Diagnosis Information and Support Act
  • LB65-Provide income tax credits for caregivers
  • LB66-Change provisions relating to stacking of coverage under the Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Insurance Coverage Act
  • LB93-Adopt the Automatic License Plate Reader Privacy Act
  • LB111-Provide for nonpartisan election of county officers
  • LB112-Permit registered voters moving within Nebraska without re-registering to vote provisionally
  • LB113-Change population threshold provisions relating to municipalities and eliminate obsolete provisions
  • LB145-Provide for a hearing to determine financial ability to pay fines and costs and traffic citations and provide for community service
  • LB146-Provide for set-asides of convictions for infractions
  • LB147-Change workers’ compensation provisions relating to waiting time, termination of compensation, and attorney’s fees
  • LB211Change the minimum wage for persons compensated by way of gratuities
  • LB212-Adopt the In the Line of Duty Compensation Act
  • LB213-Add an unfair claims settlement practice under the Unfair Insurance Claims Settlement Practices Act
  • LB258-Provide opportunity for inmates to obtain state identification card or driver’s license before discharge
  • LB259Provide for competency determinations in cases pending before county courts
  • LB260-Provide for a state food insecurity nutrition incentive grant program and state intent regarding appropriations
  • LB261Adopt the Nebraska Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act
  • LB363-Change the Conveyance Safety Act
  • LB519-Change Employment Security Law provisions relating to employers’ experience and reimbursement accounts
  • LB520-Require notification when persons prohibited by state or federal law obtain a handgun or concealed carry permit
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My wife and parents joined me for the first day of session.

Meet My Staff

Joey Adler Legislative Aide jadler@leg.ne.gov

Joey Adler
Legislative Aide
jadler@leg.ne.gov

Sarah Wagelie Administrative Assistant swagelie@leg.ne.gov

Sarah Wagelie
Administrative Assistant
swagelie@leg.ne.gov

 

Thanks to everyone who has called, sent letters, e-mailed, or stopped by our office to share your views! We hope you’ll continue to let us know what is important to you. If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at (402) 471-2610 or email us at mhansen@leg.ne.gov. We look forward to hearing from you! As always, thanks for reading.

News for the 26th

December 30th, 2016

Greetings Northeast Lincoln!

The One Hundred Fifth Legislature officially begins on January 4th, and I am excited to hit the ground running. Jane, my staff, and I offer our best wishes for the holidays!


Wreaths Across America

Last month I had the honor of receiving the Wreaths Across America wreath on behalf of Nebraska and our State Capitol. Brigadier General Wendy K. Johnson was the guest speaker, and the ceremony included music performed by the McPhee Elementary School Chorus. Students from McPhee Elementary and St. Mary’s Catholic School were in attendance, as well as some of my fellow state senators. The theme of this year’s event was “Say Their Names”. The Capitol wreath was presented by Ralph Bierman, Chair of the Wreaths Across America-Lincoln Planning Committee, and U.S. Army, 1969-1970. I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of this event for the second year in a row and to support Wreaths Across America in honoring our veterans.

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I accepted the wreath on behalf of the State Capitol.

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From left: Brigadier General Wendy K. Johnson, Diane Bartels, the coordinator of the event, myself, and Ralph Bierman, who presented the wreath.

The wreath that will be on display in the Capitol building throughout the holidays. This large wreath was sent by Wreaths Across America.

The wreath that will be on display in the Capitol building throughout the holidays. This large wreath was sent by Wreaths Across America.

Committee Hearings

December was a busy month as several committees hold interim hearings before session begins. First, the Urban Affairs Committee met to discuss my legislative resolution LR526, an interim study to examine municipal classifications, along with Senator Crawford’s LR490, an interim study to examine the enforcement of state and local building codes. Later in the month, the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee discussed Senator Murante’s LR597, which examines financing  mechanisms available to various political subdivisions to issue bonds or assume future payment obligations without a direct vote of the taxpayers, and other issues within the jurisdiction of the committee. That day the Election Technology Committee I serve on also met to discuss the longevity of the technology used by election commissioners and county clerks to conduct elections, and the feasibility of updating or replacing the technology. While Nebraska’s election technology should function well through the 2018 elections, we will need to fund technology updates or adaptations to our election system. I’m happy that the committee is seriously considering options to ensure the longevity of our election systems. Finally, the General Affairs Committee met to discuss the economic benefits of keno. I am grateful to my colleagues and those who came to testify for the opportunity to hear testimony on all of these important issues.

Speaking to Lincoln Northeast Students about Voter ID

I was fortunate to be a part of an event with Nebraskan’s for Civic Reform last month. As a part of their Capitol Experience Day, I was able to engage in a discussion about voter identification bills with students from Lincoln Northeast High School. They provided lots of great discussion questions, and I appreciated the opportunity to speak with them!

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Photo via Nebraskans for Civic Reform on Twitter @NebraskaReform.

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The State Capitol’s Christmas tree arrived in December. It was donated by Tim Steiner and is decorated with ornaments from all 93 of Nebraska’s counties. Photo via Unicameral Update.


Now that legislative session is starting up again, my staff will continue to be available to you during normal business hours. If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at (402) 471-2610 or email us at mhansen@leg.ne.gov.

We look forward to hearing from you! As always, thanks for reading.

News for the 26th

November 30th, 2016

Greetings Northeast Lincoln!

With just a few weeks left until the One Hundred Fifth Legislature begins, my office is continuing to work on our legislation for the upcoming session. I’ve stayed busy attending meetings, interim study hearings, and of course, Nebraska football games. Jane, my staff, and I offer our best wishes for the upcoming holidays!


Wedding Bells

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Wyn Wiley Photography

Last month, my beautiful fiance, Jane, and I were married in a ceremony at the Capitol.

Election Day Results

Election Day was November 8th, and with it brought 17 new faces to the Nebraska Legislature. Three State Senators from our Lincoln-area delegation are term-limited out this year: Senator Ken Haar, Senator Kathy Campbell, and Senator Colby Coash. Senator-Elect Mike Hilgers will take Senator Haar’s place representing District 21; Senator-Elect Suzanne Geist will take Senator Campbell’s place representing District 25; and Senator-Elect Anna Wishart will take Senator Coash’s place representing District 27. I am excited to welcome these newly elected Senators into our Lincoln delegation, and to welcome all of the new State Senators to the Capitol in January for the One Hundred Fifth Legislature.

I was fortunate enough to attend the Legislative Council Meeting this month, an event with all of the current and newly elected Senators. It was a wonderful opportunity to welcome our new Senator-Elects and to talk about our goals for the upcoming legislative session. Our nonpartisan unicameral legislature will now be made up of 13 women and 36 men. I want to extend my thanks to all of the Senators leaving the Legislature this year, as all have put significant time, work, and effort into their service of the people of Nebraska, and it was an honor to serve with them.

University of Nebraska Medical Center Tour

I was privileged to tour the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha this month. I had lunch with a delegation of campus leadership, where I learned more about UNMC’s priorities and current programs. I also toured the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit and met with faculty members working to improve safety conditions for Nebraska farmers.

“It’s always important to get a firsthand look at our state and university institutions in order to get a sense of how they work. I’ve been really impressed with all of the staff and faculty that I’ve met today.”-Senator Hansen

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UNMC’s Dr. Sisson showing me around the research facilities of Durham Research Center II.

Photos from the University of Nebraska Medical Center Department of Public Relations

Looking Ahead

December looks to be a busy month as several committees hold interim hearings before session begins. First, the Urban Affairs Committee will meet to discuss my legislative resolution LR526, an interim study to examine municipal classifications, along with Senator Crawford’s LR490, an interim study to examine the enforcement of state and local building codes. Later in the month, the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee will discuss Senator Murante’s LR597, which examines financing mechanisms available to various political subdivisions to issue bonds or assume future payment obligations without a direct vote of the taxpayers, and other issues within the jurisdiction of the committee. That day the Election Technology Committee I serve on will also meet to discuss the longevity of the technology used by election commissioners and county clerks to conduct elections, and the feasibility of updating or replacing the technology. Finally, the General Affairs Committee will meet to discuss the economic benefits of keno. I look forward to learning more about all of these issues and how they affect Nebraskans.


Now that we have reached the interim, my office will keep you up-to-date with regular but less frequent newsletters. My staff will continue to be available to you during normal business hours. If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at (402) 471-2610 or email us at mhansen@leg.ne.gov.

We look forward to hearing from you! As always, thanks for reading.

News for the 26th

October 31st, 2016

Greetings Northeast Lincoln!

With the interim well underway, my office is continuing to work on our legislative resolution studies. I’ve also stayed busy attending meetings, interim study hearings, and of course, Nebraska football games.


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Development in the District

As you have probably noticed, construction and development is all over District 26. One of the biggest projects is the 48th and Holdrege street area. The plaza containing the old Tastee Inn and Murphy’s Q.P. Hardware store fell into disrepair after the businesses closed. The 48th and Holdrege Redevelopment Project came to light after the area was officially declared blighted and substandard in May. The Lincoln City Council approved the five story, mixed-use project in May, and demolition and preparation of the space began this summer. The new space will include nearly 22,000 square feet of first floor retail and restaurant space and 98 residential units on the upper four floors. The project faces 48th street with parking behind and garages and landscaping along 49th street to buffer the development from the existing residential area to the east. Completion of the project is expected in August of next year. The area around 48th and Leighton is also getting a face lift. The site of the former HyVee Mainstreet store will, pending City Council approval, contain a mixed-use project with two new four- and five-story buildings, with about 28,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor and 180 apartments on the upper floors. Proposed changes also include ways to improve traffic flow and make the area pedestrian friendly. If the City Council votes to approve this project, construction could begin early next year.

Information from the City of Lincoln Urban Development Department Newsletter.

General Affairs Hearing
On October 11th, the General Affairs committee held a hearing on Legislative Resolution 567, introduced by State Senator Patty Pansing Brooks. The interim study was designed to examine and review the sale of alcohol in Whiteclay and the need for additional funding for law enforcement. Whiteclay is an unincorporated town which has four liquor stores that sell three and a half million cans of beer a year. Beer sales are primarily to residents of the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, where alcohol is banned. Senator Pansing Brooks introduced the resolution to the committee, and testifiers included representatives from the Liquor Control Commission, the Nebraska State Patrol, and the University of Nebraska-Medical Center. One testifier, a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder advocate, spoke on the importance of treatment and job centers in Whiteclay which could help to reduce the rate of infants born with fetal alcohol syndrome. One in four infants born on the Pine Ridge reservation are born with fetal alcohol syndrome, a rate far higher than the national average. As a result of the interim study and a recent trip several senators took to Whiteclay, Senator Pansing Brooks recommends the condemnation and removal of abandoned buildings, creation of a drug and alcohol treatment center in combination with a job training center, expansion of economic development in the area, and a state patrol substation located in Whiteclay with increased trooper presence to enforce the laws. I want to express my thanks to all who testified in an effort to find solutions, and to Senator Pansing Brooks for ensuring this issue is at the forefront of the Legislature’s attention.

Government, Military, and Veterans Affairs Hearing

On October 13th, the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs committee met to discuss two interim hearings: LR 530, introduced by State Senator Sara Howard, and LR 504, introduced by State Senator John Murante. Senator Howard’s legislative resolution was introduced to examine the ongoing implementation of the federal Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act of 2014 and related state law and policy. Senator Murante’s legislative resolution was introduced to examine the numerous deadlines involved in the election process.


Now that we have reached the interim, my office will keep you up-to-date with regular but less frequent newsletters. My staff will continue to be available to you during normal business hours. If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at (402) 471-2610 or email us at mhansen@leg.ne.gov.

We look forward to hearing from you! As always, thanks for reading.

News for the 26th

October 3rd, 2016

Greetings Northeast Lincoln!

With the interim well underway, my office is continuing to work on our legislative resolution studies. I’ve also stayed busy attending meetings, interim study hearings, and of course, Nebraska football games.


Raising the Rocket Dedication

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Above, myself and members of the Lincoln Northeast High staff and alumni during the ribbon cutting, and the Rocket at Lincoln Northeast High School. Photos courtesy of Mary Southworth and T.J. Saddler. 

During the most recent legislative session, I introduced Legislative Resolution 620, to congratulate Lincoln Northeast High School on its 75th Anniversary. On the morning of August 22nd, I was honored to be present at and perform the proclamation of the dedication of the new Northeast rocket.  Northeast High School was given a Nike Ajax missile in the 1960s as a symbol of their mascot and their motto, “Once a Rocket, Always a Rocket,” but the missile mysteriously disappeared in 1990. Members of the Booster Club created a committee to replace the rocket, headed by Northeast Alumni Jason Lemon. The support of the community allows a new rocket to grace the grounds of Northeast High School.


Food Access

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During the second session of the 104th Legislature, I introduced LR 595, an interim study to examine the topic of food deserts and issues relating to access to healthy food in Nebraska. As part of my office’s research this interim, we have learned a great deal about food access and food insecurity. We had a very productive stakeholder meeting earlier this month on healthy food access.

I was also featured in a Lincoln Journal Star article titled, “Food deserts still a problem in Nebraska, but no easy fixes”. District 26 has lost several grocery stores in recent years, which makes it harder for consumers to easily access fresh, healthy, affordable food. Bringing together stakeholders and continuing research on food access and insecurity will hopefully generate ideas on how to solve this pressing issue for Nebraskans.


Lancaster County Retreat

Each fall the Lancaster County Board of Commissioners hosts a retreat where the Board, the local State Senators, and county department heads and staff meet to discuss issues affecting the county. This year’s retreat was hosted at the Lancaster County Extension office.  The discussions started with a recapping of this spring’s legislative session, including LB 742 which I introduced to help the county clarify multiple existing sections. There was also discussion of prospective issues, such as funding for county road and bridges, and other infrastructure investments.  I have been very appreciative of these opportunities to hear directly from the county each of the last two years, and hope to continue to have a strong working relationship with the County Board.


Voter Registration

Registration: you can register at the DMV, by mail, and online at https://www.nebraska.gov/apps-sos-voter-registration/, until October 21st. You can also register in person at the Lancaster County Election Commissioner’s office (601 N 46th St) until October 28th.
Polling places: you can find your polling place by calling the Lancaster County Election Commission at (402) 441-7311 or by visiting votercheck.necvr.ne.gov. Polls are open from 8 AM to 8 PM. If you are in line at your polling location by 8 PM, you’re allowed to vote.
The general election is on November 8th.


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At the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s with my fellow Lincoln state senator Kate Bolz who represents legislative district 29.

 

 

 

 

 

 

News for the 26th

August 31st, 2016

Interim Work Continues

With the interim well underway, my office has begun work on our legislative resolution studies. I’ve also stayed busy attending meetings, interim study hearings, and conferences.

NCSL Legislative Summit

In August I was able to attend the National Conference of State Legislatures annual Legislative Summit in Chicago. NCSL is a unique organization lead by state legislators and legislative staff from across the country. It is dedicated to providing resources, training, and research to legislators and their staff. As part of this event, I was invited to a special conference panel on human trafficking. Legislators from many states were on hand to discuss how this issue impacts their communities, and a panel of social workers and prosecutors from the Chicago area shared their experience. I was able to share details about LB 843, which we passed in Nebraska this year, granting some of the strongest legal protections to human trafficking victims in the country.

I also serve on NCSL’s Elections and Redistricting Committee, and was fortunate to participate in many different trainings and presentations. I volunteered to serve on this committee to expand my experience with election law, which is under the oversight of the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs committee I serve on here in Nebraska.

On the final day of the conference there was an in depth session on the problem of opioid addiction in America, which has been reaching alarming levels. A panel of doctors, prosecutors, social workers, and legislators from across the nation compared the challenges and success in their states. This panel reconfirmed the importance of LB 471, which passed this session, strengthening our prescription drug monitoring program, and highlighted the work still to do on this issue.

NCSL shopped

Photo above: An informational poster from the NCSL conference in Chicago about election technology. I serve on the Election Technology Committee here in Nebraska, which was formed by LR 403, a legislative resolution I introduced.

Midwestern Legislative Conference

In July, I traveled to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for the 71st annual Midwestern Legislative Conference hosted by the Council of State Governments, or CSG. CSG is a nonpartisan organization that serves all three branches of state government. In Wisconsin, I attended sessions on state water policy, early childhood development, the upcoming 2016 elections, and fiscal leadership, among others. I enjoyed the opportunity to attend the conference and engage in good discussions with my Nebraska colleagues and legislators from other states. I can’t wait to bring this experience back to Nebraska and District 26.

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Urban Affairs Committee Hearing

On August 18th, the Urban Affairs Committee held it’s first interim study hearing for the year. Myself and members of the committee headed to Aurora, Nebraska for a hearing on Legislative Resolution 490. LR 490 is an interim study to examine the enforcement of state and local building codes. More information about this resolution can be found here.

Page Applications Now Available

Applications for pages with the 2017 legislative session are now open! Pages are college students who assist senators and the Clerk of the Legislature during session with a variety of tasks, including delivering messages and staffing committee hearings. This is a paid position and pages may also be eligible to receive college credit hours. If you or someone you know is interested, applications are available through the Clerk of the Legislature’s office, room 2018 in the Capitol building. For more information, please call the Clerk’s office at (402) 471-2271, or contact our office via phone at (402) 471-2610 or email at mhansen@leg.ne.govApplications are due to the Clerk of the Legislature’s office by Monday, October 3rd, 2016.

In Other News…

Check out the University Place Community Market every Wednesday from 3pm to 7pm! Produce, crafts, food, and more! The market will run from June 8th to September 14th at a new location on 48th and Leighton.


Now that we have reached the interim, my office will keep you up-to-date with regular but less frequent newsletters. My staff will continue to be available to you during normal business hours. If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at (402) 471-2610 or email us at mhansen@leg.ne.gov.

We look forward to hearing from you! As always, thanks for reading.

Office Updates

July 13th, 2016

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Our long-time Administrative Assistant, Amanda Johnson, will be leaving Nebraska to get her Master of Science in Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Amanda has been with Senator Hansen’s staff since he took office, and we will be sad to see her go this Friday, July 15th.

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Stepping into the role of Administrative Assistant is Sarah Wagelie. Sarah graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln this May with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a public policy analysis certificate, and she is excited to help Senator Hansen serve the people of Legislative District 26! If there is anything our office can help you with, Sarah can be reached at swagelie@leg.ne.gov, or via our office phone, (402) 471-2610. 

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The newest member of our office is Kate Gotsdiner, who will be taking over the position of Legislative Aide until November. Kate has been active in Nebraska politics over the last six years and worked for former U.S. Senator Ben Nelson in Washington, D.C. We’re excited to have Kate on board! She can be reached via our office phone, (402) 471-2610.

 

 

News for the 26th

May 2nd, 2016

Second Session Ends, Sine Die

The 104th legislative session comes to a close, eleven senators say goodbye.

As the session comes to an end, Senators must say goodbye to eleven colleagues, including Speaker Galen Hadley, all of whom are pictured on the next page.

During this short session, the legislature passed 216 bills, including prison reform legislation, funding for roads, and property tax relief. Nearly all priority bills were debated, and 76 were passed into law. This includes my priority bill, LB947, the details of which are also on the next page, including a quote from my first floor speech on the bill.

 

Election Bill Passes

Early this month, my bill, LB741 was amended into Senator John Murante’s LB874. LB874 will make several changes to Nebraska’s election laws. The original bill makes the process for filling vacancies on school boards consistent statewide with the stipulation that an appointee will fill a vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term.

As passed, LB874 includes provisions of four additional bills, including my bill. LB741 removes from the list of banned electioneering practices the display of yard signs on private property within 200 feet of a polling place. However, this does not include properties that are under common ownership with the polling place.

Other additions include provisions from Senator Adam Morfeld allowing for ballot selfies, and Senator Joni Craighead changing the deadline to request a vote-by-mail ballot.

LB874 was passed by the legislature with a 45-0 vote.

 

LB947 Passes, Notwithstanding Objections from the Governor

On the final day of session, the legislature debated LB947: a bill to provide for the issuance of professional or commercial licenses for DACA recipients. After having passed LB947 on Final Reading with 33 affirmative votes, the bill was returned to the legislature on day 60 without approval from the governor.

To qualify for the federal DACA program, residents must have: lived in the US since June, 2007; been no older than 31 as of June, 2012; entered the country before turning sixteen; attended school, earned a diploma, or have been honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces; and not been convicted of a felony or significant misdemeanor.

On day 60, the bill’s sponsor, Senator Heath Mello, offered a motion to override the governor’s veto. To override a veto, the affirmative. After two hours of debate, the body voted 31-13 to override the veto of LB947.

 

“Time and time again we’ve heard about the importance of workforce development, and its critical connection to the future growth of our state… With LB947, we have an opportunity to ensure that young Nebraskans have the full opportunity to obtain a professional license to join their ideal profession.”

 

I chose LB947 as my personal priority bill to address the inability of so many Nebraskans to become professionals. Throughout session, my office received dozens of emails and phone calls in support of this legislation. I’m happy we were successful in passing LB947, because I believe our state supports DACA recipients making a life in Nebraska, supporting their families, and supporting their community.

 

ELEVEN SENATORS TERM-LIMITED OUT:

Sen. Mello, Sen. Cook, Sen. Bloomfield, Sen. Haar, Sen. Campbell, Sen. Coash, Sen. Gloor, Speaker Hadley, Sen. McCoy, Sen. Sullivan, and Sen. Schilz.

 

Next Session

The 105th Legislative Session will begin January 4th, 2017 for a 90 day session.

As always, thanks for reading!

Unicameral Update
Published April 7, 2016

Lawmakers gave final approval April 7 to a bill that makes a number of changes to the state’s election laws.

LB874, introduced by Gretna Sen. John Murante, makes the process for filling vacancies on school boards consistent statewide by stipulating that an appointee will fill a vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term.

The bill includes provisions of four additional bills.

LB879, originally introduced by Murante, changes the requirement to place a candidate’s name on the partisan general election ballot by petition to at least 10 percent of the registered voters entitled to vote for the office.

LB787, originally introduced by Lincoln Sen. Adam Morfeld, allows a voter to voluntarily photograph his or her ballot after it is marked and reveal the photograph.

LB741, originally introduced by Lincoln Sen. Matt Hansen, removes from the list of banned electioneering practices the display of yard signs on private property within 200 feet of a polling place that is not under common ownership with the polling place.

LB682, originally introduced by Omaha Sen. Joni Craighead, changes the deadline for a voter to request a vote-by-mail ballot from 4 p.m. of the Wednesday preceding the election to the close of business on the second Friday preceding the election.

The bill also designates the 22nd day before an election as the earliest date that an election commissioner or county clerk may send out vote-by-mail ballots. That date currently is the 20th day before an election.

LB874 passed on a 45-0 vote and takes effect immediately.

Sen. Matt Hansen

District 26
Room #1017
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2610
Email: mhansen@leg.ne.gov
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