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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.
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.
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.
The 105th Legislative Session will begin January 4th, 2017 for a 90 day session.
As always, thanks for reading!
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.