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Myron Dorn

Sen. Myron Dorn

District 30

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January 3rd, 2024

Thank you for visiting my website. It is an honor to represent the people of the 30th 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.

Sen. Myron Dorn

Since the end of the 108th Legislative session in April, I have devoted time to talking with various groups and fellow lawmakers about how to address the property tax issue. We ended the session without taking a vote on the one package that was before us, since the bill’s sponsor did not feel the votes were there to overcome the opposition. As you have heard, we are saving the last week in July and the first part of August for a potential special session to debate the latest Governor’s proposals.

My staff and I continue to field calls and requests throughout the interim months, and hope we can help to cut through some red tape and find constituents the answers they need on a wide range of issues. The calendar stays full, with or without that special session looming in the coming weeks.

Some of the activities I have participated in since the end of April include the ground breaking at Nebraska Innovation Campus (the old State Fairgrounds) for a new USDA agricultural research facility called the Center for Resilient & Regenerative Precision Agriculture. Closely connected is the need for quality broadband in rural areas. I, with a group of about nine others, met with the Governor about this in May.

A meet and greet for non profit organizations in Lincoln was held in May, and I am a member of a working group looking at inheritance tax and how it affects county budgets. I attended the annual firefighting school in Grand Island, and was honored with an award in mid May. The Building & Maintenance committee on which I serve, toured state owned facilities here in Lincoln, as well.

District 30 is well aware of the impact of the South Beltway project. Now we are gathering parties interested in moving the East Beltway project forward and holding meetings to look at that. Another exciting initiative was demonstrated to my staff and I in Pawnee City – a telehealth program to assist rural EMTs during emergency response and patient transport. They have access, with a monitor in the back of the ambulance, to live interaction with medical personnel, which was quite impressive.

I spoke to the statewide meeting of Cooperative Managers in Grand Island and attended the Governor’s town hall meeting in Seward. It was a pleasure to host fellow senator Rick Holdcroft in Adams, who spoke at the Memorial Day ceremony. Senator Holdcroft is a decorated and retired Naval officer who now represents District 36 (Gretna, Papillon area) in the Legislature.

In June I attended a meeting with Congressman Adrian Smith and health insurance providers to discuss that industry in Nebraska, as health care continues to be a major concern. When I am in the office, I meet frequently with staff from the Legislative Fiscal office to discuss state spending, and also the amount of unexpended funds that may expire in 2026 as part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

It was an honor to attend the dedication of the VietNam Veterans Memorial in Papillion in early June. My staff and I met with the Gage County Sheriff and Gage County Attorney office about issues within the county. A milestone event in southeast Nebraska was the celebration of 75 years of broadcasting by KWBE radio, and we had an enjoyable evening with the radio personnel at their observance.

For a couple of very warm days in mid June, I joined in on the southeast Nebraska water tour, sponsored by the Daugherty Water for Food Institute at UNL. The importance of water use, management and conservation were on display with a number of excellent speakers.
I continue working with the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) as Nebraska’s liaison. NCSL has been working for 50 years in all 50 states and is a solid resource and a great way to network and learn from other state representatives.

Most recently, I attended a regional development initiative meeting targeting southeast Nebraska. City and county officials and economic development organizations joined at the Governor’s request to share information and brainstorm ideas about employment, growth, workforce and housing. My staff was happy to fill in as the Governor proclaimed June as Dairy Month, with ice cream treats provided by Hiland Dairy and local producers from District 30.

It is always a highlight for my grandkids to join me for the Homestead Days Parade in Beatrice, a great event that draws a lot of people into the city and Gage County. On Monday, I served alongside other senators representing Lancaster County at the Center for People in Need in Lincoln; and later this past week, met with area mental health providers and DHHS officials about funding, and sat down with Sen. Ibach and new state broadband director Patrick Haggerty to discuss BEAD funding. I also met with local NRD officials this week about projects underway in southeast Nebraska.

As we move into July, I wish you all a meaningful and safe celebration of our nation’s birthday! County fairs will be here before we know it, and perhaps that special legislative session as well. My office is open at the Capitol but if we happen to miss you in person, you can always contact me at or call 402-471-2620.


End of the 60 Day Session
April 19th, 2024

While this short session of the 108th Legislature was more productive than last year’s 90 day session, it still ended with extended debate on several issues. Other last day activities included a speech from the Governor, closing comments from Speaker John Arch, and farewell remarks from those senators who are term limited out or not running for re-election.

LB 388 was the first bill of the day to meet with opposition. Debate focused on the merits of expanding the tax base and the effect on taxpayers of various income levels, tax shifts, the potential of property tax to rise without this bill, and so on. After just shy of two hours of debate, Sen. Linehan moved to pass over the bill, which was allowed by the Speaker.

The next bill to be pulled off Final Reading for additional debate was LB 1363. This bill would increase the documentary stamp tax on real estate transactions. The revenue from this tax would be dispersed to several different funds: the Site and Building Development Fund; the Homeless Shelter Assistance Trust Fund; the Behavioral Health Services Fund; the Economic Recovery Contingency Fund for the establishment and operation of an office to pursue and coordinate grant funding on behalf of the state; the Military Base Development and Support Fund to support businesses and amenities linked to military installations and to enhance business attraction and economic growth in Nebraska’s military sector; and the Health Care Homes for the Medically Underserved Fund for federally qualified health centers. In the end, the introducer, Sen. McDonnell, asked the Speaker to pass over this bill as well.

The next major bill to be taken up was LB 1402, which would appropriate $10 million, administered by the State Treasurer, to be used to grant scholarships to students who apply to attend private schools. Nebraska students who are (A) receiving and education scholarship for the first time and are entering kindergarten, sixth grade, or ninth grade in a qualified school or (B) transferring from a public school at which the student was enrolled for at least one semester immediately preceding the first semester for which the student received an education scholarship to a qualified school. Scholarship granting organizations may apply to the State Treasurer for a grant which shall be used to provide education scholarships to eligible students to pay the costs associated with attending a qualified school. LB1402 also provides prioritization criteria which applicants shall follow when awarding scholarships. I voted for cloture on this bill.

Following the end of our work on bills, the Governor addressed the Legislature. He began by recognizing the loss of Ceresco Police Officer Ross Bartlett who was killed in the line of duty, and thanked all first responders for their service. Governor Pillen noted the accomplishments of the session that will strengthen the state. He also expressed his disappointment in not passing property tax relief and indicated a special session will be called.

Speaker Arch thanked the members, divisions and staff for their work and sacrifice of time. The number of bills passed in the 108th biennium came to 373, out of over 1,400 introduced. Each departing senator reflected on their time in the Legislature, knowing that despite saying farewell, they would be back sooner than later for that special session.

Please continue to send your communication to my office during the interim. My staff will be available to speak with you or answer your emails. 402-471-2620 Thank you!

Weekly Update
April 12th, 2024

Day 59 of 60 is complete. A lot of work has been finished in the past few days, which encompassed every level of debate from General File (first round) to Select File (second round) to Final Reading. On Day 59 we passed 103 bills on to the Governor for his signature. It takes a large number of both hours and personnel to get just one bill over the finish line, to get over 100 finalized is amazing.

I want to recognize the divisions of the Legislature who work so tirelessly to get this done: Fiscal Office, Revisors’ Office, Legislative Research, Transcribers, Unicameral Information Office, Bill Room, Mail Room, Human Resources,  Accounting and the Clerk’s Office. We also appreciate our Legislative Pages and the Sergeants at Arms, Security and our excellent Technology Center. Like any smoothly running operation, it takes many dedicated staff to keep things rolling along well. Our work requires all of these departments to insure compliance and accuracy.

Among the bills on Final Reading this past week were three that I introduced. LB 1095 was primarily “clean up” language to clarify the definition of motor fuels and motor fuel dispensers, define the average annual gas gallonage to the most recent three years, and explain that if there is a blend of diesel and biodiesel, only the biodiesel portion is eligible for the credit. This legislation was a follow up to my E-15 ethanol bill from last year.

A second bill, LB 1108e, transfers funds from the Game and Parks Commission Capital Maintenance Fund to the Nebraska Emergency Medical Systems Operations Fund. The money will be used to support the Statewide Trauma System Act and the Emergency Medical Services Practice Act. A lot of program titles! But the result will be improved training opportunities for rural emergency medical responders, who are desperately needed. And the “e clause” attached to this bill means it will go into effect immediately upon the Governor’s signature. 

Another bill I am happy to have sponsored is LB 130. This measure will allow qualified nursing homes and long term care facilities to access federal funds. Boosting the reimbursements under the medical assistance program is a good first step toward keeping these health providers solvent and thriving. 

I have enjoyed serving on the Appropriations Committee for this sixth year. It takes awhile to learn the ins and outs of the process. As you know, our state constitution requires us to pass a balanced budget. Requests for funding must be weighed against revenue sources (which includes taxes coming in as well as reductions in revenue), the health of the economy and the amount remaining in reserve. 

Details are crucial in the Appropriations process and yet we have to deal with quite a number of variables and unknowns in putting together a budget. That challenge has been both aggravating and satisfying at the same time. Watching the different elements come together and seeing behind the scenes of state government has been interesting and illuminating. 

The budget bills that we passed were returned with the Governor’s signature and with no line item vetoes. The state has money in reserve (the rainy day fund) and has allocated dollars for a level of property tax relief. The state must support education, health and human services, corrections and transportation, which consume the greatest share of the budget. The state’s 80+ agencies and multiple programs have been sustained – not always at the amount desired but all have been able to continue working for Nebraskans.

The Legislature has one day remaining in this short 60 day session, April 18. Two bills remain to be debated and voted upon, LB 1402 and LB 388. I anticipate a long day before we wrap up our work for the year. The possibility of a special session is being discussed, hinging on whether we pass additional tax relief through LB 388; and if the votes are there for changing the electoral college. Stay tuned.

My contact information:  402-471-2620.


Weekly Update
April 5th, 2024

With less than a week’s worth of session days yet to go, the procedure changes slightly here at the Legislature. There will not be enough time to take up any bill that has not advanced past the first round of debate, due to the time a bill must lay over for review by the Revisor’s Office. All remaining time will be spent on legislation that is on the second round or final reading. After the 59th day, we will be in recess for a few days to allow the Governor to sign or veto bills sent to his desk. Typically, the 60th day is reserved for veto overrides, if any; wrapping up the official record of the session and concluding remarks. This year we will still have bills on final reading on the 60th day, which falls on April 18th.

Since mid-March, we have been in session into the evening hours. We typically adjourn just before 10 pm, some sooner and one or two later than that hour. The long days have been necessary to allow full and fair debate on the matters before us.

One of those matters is in LB 388, which would be used to provide additional property tax relief to the people of Nebraska. As amended, it would have increased the state sales tax rate, imposed sales tax on the purchase of some items and eliminated the sales tax exemption on others. LB 388 was advanced to second round debate, but without those provisions due to the lack of support for an increase in sales tax. Extensive work is needed and alternatives will need to be brought forward.

The companion bill to LB 388, LB 1331, would require us to find an additional $1.17 billion, with a B, in the state budget; the goal of LB 388 was to generate those funds. LB 1331 as introduced by the Education Committee, would increase per-pupil “foundation aid” from the current $1,500 to $3,000, and aims to significantly increase state funding of K-12 education. Because it would also have a 3% cap on school district spending, the result would force down property taxes by an estimated 27.5%. However, without LB 388 as a funding source, the education bill, LB 1331, would be inoperable.

Without agreement on an amendment, LB 388 will not proceed and we will not have any more property tax relief in this session. That said, without passage of a revenue bill, a special session is a distinct possibility. The Governor may call us into a special session, and if so, we can take up only the topics indicated in the call.

In debate on LB 1300, The Pacific Conflict Stress Test Act, an amendment was offered to consider Nebraska’s Electoral College vote. Presently, Nebraska and Maine divide their presidential votes based on election totals. The remaining 48 states are “winner take all”; if Nebraska switched to this system, our five electoral votes would go to one candidate only. In the end, the ”winner take all “ amendment was ruled by the chair to not be germane to the bill, and a vote to override that ruling was unsuccessful. The bill itself did advance, and would require a comprehensive risk assessment to identify vulnerabilities, recommended mitigation and emergency response strategies for critical infrastructure, purchases and investments. The measure is intended to protect both systems and assets, whether physical or virtual, from encroachments on state or national security.

A compromise was reached on LB 399 and the bill was advanced to the second round. It would require transparency on the part of renewable energy development companies while giving residents the opportunity to comment on those projects. There are counties in Nebraska who do not have renewable energy zoning regulations like Gage and Lancaster counties have in place. So the bill calls for meetings to be held in the county in which a project was proposed and at least one board member of the private company would be required to attend in person. The company would also have to post a security bond as part of its decommissioning plan within six years. Any sale of the original project to another company would have to be disclosed. The hope is that the bill will not stop investment in Nebraska, but that it will also safeguard the views and concerns of the state’s residents.

Your input and opinions this session have been much appreciated. Please continue to contact me at any time at, or call 402-471-2620. All legislative information can be found at Thank you!


March 29th, 2024

The end of March brings us very near the end of the current legislative session. When the Unicameral reconvenes after the Easter holiday, we will have just eight working days remaining. Many bills are left to debate and there may be some override motions to take up.

LB 1412 and 1413 were passed this week, consisting of the budget adjustments in this second year of the biennium for state agencies and projects. We had expected a $26 million decrease in TEEOSA school funding. However in mid February we learned the state was facing a $67 million increase, which had to be reflected in the budget.

The bills also make transfers of funds from about twenty state agencies to the General Fund. Overall, the bill reflects a 3.1% increase in state spending, which would have been lower than 2% but for the additional cost of TEEOSA. Just $20 million remains to fund legislative proposals for senators’ bills still in process.

In a statement on the floor, Speaker Arch pointed out that with the abundance of federal funds flowing into the state during and after the pandemic, spending in the past couple of years had reached an unparalleled level, which could not be expected to continue. I echoed his sentiments in a follow up statement.

For LB 1412 and 1413, the Appropriations Committee evaluated the needs of agencies, as well as their reluctance to have unspent money “swept” into the General Fund (such as the $15 million for behavioral health). We worked to align the Governor’s budget proposals with the costs of both ongoing and new funding requests. In addition, we must look at the impact, not only for the current fiscal year, but at least two years into the future.

As I emphasized to my colleagues, our recent reductions to the income tax rate and property tax credits, all good by the way, have left us with only about $20 million for any other bills that require funds. The current list of bills that need funding would create a three year budget deficit of $369 million. The state is not allowed to run a deficit, so either another funding source must be found or a bill will not go anywhere. While $20 million may sound like a lot to us as individuals, it gets used up very quickly by both “wants” and “needs” at the state level.

That said, the long awaited “tax bill” finally made it to the floor for debate. As a way to lower property taxes, make up for the resulting lost revenue and fund schools, LB 388 would increase the state sales tax by up to a cent, and raise taxes on cigarettes, vaping and hemp products. Exemptions would apply to the residential use of electricity, natural gas and propane. A new sales tax would be imposed on soda pop and candy, state lottery tickets and veterinary bills for pets to name a few. The Governor’s office estimates these sales taxes would generate about $730 million in revenue and be sent to K-12 school districts in an effort to lower property taxes by an average of about 30%.

An amendment to the tax bill would set limits on political subdivisions and their levying authority, to place a cap of real growth plus 3%, or a Consumer Price Index (CPI) budget cap, on counties, cities and villages. It allows for a 6% compensation growth for salaries of public safety officers if currently understaffed.

A companion bill would “front load” the property tax credit, taking the levies at every school below 80 cents. Beatrice Public Schools would see a reduction in property tax by 52%. Palmyra would see a 69% reduction. Many, especially in Omaha and LIncoln, have not taken advantage of the current property tax credit on their income tax returns, but would see the full reduction on their property tax bill in the future. This would be a huge tax decrease.
After spending just a few hours of debate on LB 388, Sen. Linehan, who sponsored the bill and chairs the Revenue Committee, asked the Speaker to wait until after Easter before placing the bill back on the agenda. A number of amendments have been offered by other senators, and arguments included whether taxes are regressive (sales) or progressive (income).

I want to point out that the mechanisms in the bill are a way to truly reduce property tax. With LB 388 being a key provision to rebalance the “three legged stool” of tax collection, I fully expect more debate during the last few remaining days.

Our week ended with LB 937, a priority bill brought by Sen. Bostar, that also included parts of ten other bills from the Revenue Committee which were not prioritized. That fact was the subject of some debate and led to a motion to “divide the question”, so that individual parts of the bills could be considered separately.

The topics covered in LB 937 include a tax credit for: family caregivers, contributions to charitable organizations which help with pregnancy, nonprofits, biodiesel fuel, film or video production companies, support and caregiving for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, food donations, sustainable aviation fuel, shortline railway projects, the Medical Debt Relief Act and a tax credit for reverse osmosis systems.

Every session there are some excellent programs and ideas that deserve to be funded, and some that warrant long term appropriations. The problem is, as I mentioned earlier, with the combination of tax reductions and the end of federal funds coming in from ARPA, the dollars are just not there to sustain everything on the wishlist, no matter how worthy.

Wishing you a blessed celebration of Easter. Please continue to send me your comments and concerns. 402-471-2620. Thank you!


District 30 Update
March 22nd, 2024

With only a dozen days left on the legislative calendar, we worked through dozens of bills this past week while meeting into the evening hours. And since the month of March is known for athletic tournaments across the country, it seems only fitting that among those bills, the Legislature would consider a measure dealing with NIL, Name, Image and Likeness. NIL concerns the income opportunity for student athletes who promote products and companies.

LB 1393 from Sen. Hansen, on behalf of the Governor, updates the current law to allow universities to assist student’s endorsement options with legal support and resources such as equipment and photographers. The bill also clarifies student athletes would not be considered employees of the college. With NIL affecting virtually all of the country’s college athletics these days, the intent of the legislation is to be proactive for the sake of both students and educational institutions.

Another topic of national interest is the upcoming election. LB 287, an election clean up measure, included the provisions of several bills from the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee. It includes amendments for changing voter registration removal, presidential elector meeting locations and dates, and verification of driver’s licenses or state identification cards. This provision was adopted on a 33-0 vote.

My bill, LB 47, to amend the Open Meetings Act and authorize rural fire districts to post notice of their meetings prominently in three conspicuous places, was also included in LB 287. Other matters included in this bill were updates to the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Act, the process for filling vacancies in the congressional delegation, and expanding the use of videoconferencing for public meetings.

Due to the ever increasing and expanding use of technology in a large number of industries in our state, we continue to consider broadband standards. LB 1031 from Sen. Bostelman concerns several key factors. An important aspect of broadband capability is the speed of access. At least 100 Mbps for downloading and 20 Mbps for uploading is included in the bill.

Amendments from other senator’s bills placed into LB 1031 include the role of the Public Service Commission, requiring annual reports from providers about their rates, and the inclusion of a member on the Nebraska Information Technology Commission who has agriculture as his or her principal business or occupation. Standards for deaf, hard of hearing and speech-impaired Nebraskans as well as 911 services were also addressed in the bill.

For three days of this past week, LB 441 introduced by Sen. Albrecht, was up for debate and was the subject of a filibuster. Under current law, it is a Class I misdemeanor to prepare, distribute, order, produce, exhibit or promote obscene material or possess such material with the intent to do so. Currently it is against the law to show criminally obscene materials to minors, except in K-12 schools and libraries. Albrecht introduced LB441 to close this “loophole” in Nebraska law and hold all adults to the same standard.

Those opposed to the bill focused on First Amendment rights (however obscenity is not a legally or constitutionally protected form of speech) while others argued that librarians are well-trained in what is appropriate material for students and should be able to do their jobs without political interference. Some senators expressed concern that LB441 would allow a “vocal minority” to control which literary works the majority can access, saying that school boards and librarians should be trusted to do what is best for their districts and students. Others said this falls under the authority of the State Board of Education.

Adding to the controversy, a senator read aloud an excerpt from a book and inserted the name(s) of another senator. The Chairman of the Legislative Executive Board then filed a complaint and initiated an investigation. In addition, a legislative resolution of censure was introduced by a member of the Unicameral. The Legislature has extensive policies and procedures to handle these matters, including the hiring of outside legal counsel to examine the situation. While I cannot yet predict the outcome, I am confident that thorough consideration will be given to this incident. A vote for cloture to end debate failed and the bill is unlikely to be discussed again in the current session.

The budget bills will be given final consideration on days 49 and 50 next week, which will conclude the biggest share of the work of the Appropriations Committee. However, there are still “A” bills yet to be voted on, which allocate funding for specific measures. Spending will also be affected by the revenue package, since changes and reductions in our tax structure dictate how much money is available for the state to apportion. The Revenue Committee voted out the Property Tax bill on Thursday, LB388. Their proposal should be available early next week for consideration.

Contact me any time at, or call 402-471-2620. Thank you.


The Legislature began work on the budget this week. The main budget is determined in the first year of the two year biennium which makes up a session of the Legislature. In this 108th session, we are in the second year so the current budget bills deal with tweaks and necessary adjustments. I will come back to budget issues later in this update.

One of the bills I introduced this session was LB 942, to raise Medicaid provider rates for nursing facilities via a general fund budget allocation. It came to our attention that a federal program could be accessed to boost Medicaid funding for skilled nursing. The facility first pays into a federal program, and then those monies come back to Nebraska along with an additional percentage, bringing about $23 million back into Nebraska. I hope this will help stave off any additional facility closings like we have seen in the past year.

Procedurally, LB 942 will be amended into my LB 130 which is already on Final Reading. We determined this was the best way to get it over the finish line in the current session. A bit complicated but well worth it to bring these federal tax dollars back to Nebraska.

The first motion to override a veto by the Governor this year came in the form of LB 307 from Omaha Senator Hunt. LB 307 would allow local jurisdictions to authorize harm reduction strategies, known as Syringe Service Programs (SSPs), that distribute hypodermic needles to reduce the spread of infectious diseases such as HIV. SSPs protect the public and first responders by facilitating the safe use and disposal of syringes; curb outbreak of disease; and encourage intravenous drug users to enter treatment. The bill does not require any locality to adopt such a program, but gives the tools to address disease and drug issues.

I supported this bill from the beginning; I liked this bill because it did not require anything, it simply allowed local communities and health departments to implement this program. There were no mandates or requirements. I appreciated the local control aspect and the drug cessation program opportunities it afforded.

Originally this bill passed by 30 votes (only needed 25), but those 30 votes did not hold in the override attempt (which requires 30 votes), garnering only 27 yes votes. I did my own research and took several days to consider the input from medical professionals and drug counselors before deciding how to vote. I had conversations with Gov. Pillen about his veto, and with Speaker Arch who strongly supported the bill, due to his affiliation with Boys Town and experience with families affected by drug use. I saw more positive than negative coming out of this bill and did vote to override.

One of the most well attended press conferences I have seen occurred this week, sponsored by the Developmentally Disabled (DD) community. The goal was to demonstrate the desperate need for more DD funding in order to hire additional competent staff to care for this vulnerable segment of our population. The current private provider reimbursement rate is $15 per hour, and advocates say they need a minimum of $18/hour to be competitive in the marketplace.

People with disabilities are not being served well by the current model of funding. There are presently 2,638 individuals on a wait list for services in Nebraska. Providers continue to be critically short staffed and underfunded, not just from Covid but also before that time, and into the foreseeable future. Had we adequately funded providers earlier, we would not be in this situation. At this point, we now have to fund at a higher rate to catch up and fill in the ever increasing gaps. A better wage for staff would go a long way in making a better life for those with disabilities and for those who care for them.

As I indicated, most of our week was spent on LB 1412 and 1413. Both bills did advance after considerable debate. LB 1412 represents agency budgets where some find they have remaining dollars, and others may have had situations arise that require additional funds. LB 1413 deals with the transfer of funds between agencies and/or the state’s general fund. For example, there was an unexpected increase in TEEOSA (School) funding so that was allocated.

The deliberation about LB 1413 centered on whether the Legislature, at the recommendation of the Governor for the most part, should take excess funds and use them elsewhere; or if the funds should stay in the initial agencies for any contingencies that arise. The Governor’s proposal would have taken about $272 million back from various funds for the state’s coffers. As the Appropriations Committee, we ended up bringing back about $244 million of that. The Governor’s plan also redirected $10 million of those dollars toward workforce development projects.

Larger than usual fluctuations in agency budgets can be attributed in part to American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, and to inflation. In some cases, programs received ARPA money, which was utilized first before dipping into state appropriations, making it appear as if not all their budget was used. This one-time infusion of ARPA funds somewhat works against them in this way.

The complete budget can be found at a link on the Unicameral’s website at My contact information is and 402-471-2620. As always, I appreciate hearing from you.



March 8th, 2024

After several days of my priority bill waiting on the agenda for debate, we were able to discuss LB 1108 in the full Legislature on Thursday. The goal is to double the funding for the Emergency Medical Systems operation fund. This small investment pays big dividends in the training and testing of Emergency Medical Technicians and their continuing education. 

As you may recall, I have served as a volunteer EMT for 38 years.  I can state emphatically that when called to an accident on the roads, or to an emergency in a home or on a farm, the quality of medical intervention depends on a well-trained responder.

The program supports emergency medical programs for children and recruitment, retention, and training of emergency medical responders. It also manages the ENARSIS system (Electronic Nebraska Ambulance Rescue Service Information System) and the statewide trauma registry. These reports are used at the state and national level to improve patient care and point of care services. We learn from our past responses and hopefully, we turn that into better outcomes for patients on future calls.

In looking for ways to support the EMS program, it was brought to our attention that the Capital Maintenance fund of the Game and Parks Commission was a potential source. Like any site or facility across the state, Game and Parks relies on local EMTs and first responders when our citizens are in need. By moving $1.275 million from that fund to the EMS practice act, we can help sustain emergency services across Nebraska.

Our state has a proud tradition of volunteer services. I applaud all of those who are willing to take the time for extensive training, rigorous testing; and then interrupt their lives to go out on a call. And I know we are all extremely thankful that when we place that emergency call, whether we are in the city or in rural areas, qualified people will respond. To have this level of service is something we should never take for granted.

After a short discussion on the floor, LB 1108 was amended and passed on to the second round of consideration on a 33-0 vote. I am pleased to have this legislation moving ahead and proud to have it as my priority bill.

The Legislature has moved several key bills forward in the past week. LB 262 from the Agriculture Committee was packaged to contain provisions for hemp, grain dealers and warehousing, as well as food inspectors. It advanced on a 33-1 vote. The bill removes conflicts between state law and the USDA hemp provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill; defines grain as it relates to categories such as “certified organic”; raises licensure requirements for grain dealer security and warehouse bonds, and specifies the posting of storage rates and related charges. It also allows a local regulatory authority to choose to use only registered environmental health specialists as food inspectors.

Another committee package, LB 1200 from Transportation and Telecommunications, ensures the state will not lose federal highway dollars. It also would allow a single-step process for entering into a construction manager/general contractor contract. A portion of the bill deals with Motor Vehicle Industry Licensing Act, increases the maximum truck length from 40 to 45 feet, and requires the Department of Health and Human Services to work with the Public Service Commission to connect callers on the Suicide and Crisis Line to 911 services, with this dual capability in place by 2025. Finally, this measure would govern flashing yellow arrows and steady red arrows, and increase the precision of calculating the state’s fuel tax rate. It advanced on a 42-0 vote.

Thursday was the 40th day of the session, which is the day the Appropriations Committee presents the  mid-biennium budget proposal to the Legislature. A copy of that report can be found here  Senators have a long weekend to review the report before we begin debate sometime next week. 

Please continue to contact me if you have any concerns or questions. or call 402-471-2620. You can find complete information at Thank you.


March 1st, 2024

The Appropriations Committee has finished public hearings and is now working in executive session to get a budget to the full legislature by March 7th. This includes adding in amendments, review by the legislative fiscal office, and printing. The other committees have finished their hearings as well, and all day debate begins March 4th.

This week in floor debate, I requested the Speaker pass over my LB 130, which was scheduled for final reading. This is because a federal funding source is showing potential for supporting skilled nursing homes across the state. This would be very beneficial for rural areas, with another facility closing in Red Cloud just last week. We need to find ways to help in the short term and put the tools in place for future sustainability. I am hopeful about this potential benefit to nursing home and long term care units, the residents and employees, across the state.

Inheritance tax has taken most of our debate time this past week. We are one of just a few states with either an estate or inheritance tax, or both. However, Nebraska is the only one in which the revenue from this tax goes to counties and not into the state budget. 

There is no question that getting rid of the inheritance tax is appealing; the problem is replacing about $80 to 95 million in lost revenue to our counties. How do we replace that revenue, keeping in mind that the only source of revenue to a county is property tax? Negotiations are underway to look at the impact on counties and find ways to compensate for lost revenue, over and above the $3 to $12 million offered in the original bill for county jails. Not every county even has a jail, and the amount offered fell far short of $80 million.

The Inspectors General issue has been resolved for the short term. As you may remember, the Attorney General (AG) had issued an opinion that these divisions within the Legislature were unconstitutional, saying investigative authority conferred on the inspectors general violates the separation of powers clause of the State Constitution. The Legislature maintains it needs the division because crises involving the state prison and child welfare systems weren’t being remedied by the attorney general or executive branch. 

 As a result of the AG opinion, the Executive Board of the Legislature signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Governor’s office to allow the continuation of these Inspector’s work until a longer term solution can be written into law. In the meantime, the Legislature has created a special committee to look at the various legislative divisions and their functions and report by mid December on their findings.

A bill was introduced this week by Sen. John Cavanaugh to address the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in campaigning. Last fall, Congressman Flood hosted a one day seminar about AI. This is a fast moving issue, and we will need to take this up sooner than later. The increasing use of altered and deceptive audio, videos, photos and printed materials, without the ability to prove original content sources, could have lasting negative impacts. While recognizing there isn’t enough time in this session to take up this complicated topic, the hearing was useful in revealing what work needs to be done in this arena.  

A reminder as we near the primary election in May – make certain you have an approved form of identification in order to cast your vote. For information and a list of acceptable forms, go to  Contact me at any time about this and your areas of concern at, call 402-471-2620. For complete information on the Unicameral, go to Thank you.

2-23 weekly update
February 23rd, 2024

We have reached the midpoint of the 60 day session of the Legislature. As with many things we experience, the days are long but the months and years go by fast.

My bill, LB 940, has advanced to final reading. The legislation will make it possible for a county to pay for services provided through non-profit organizations that have the necessary expertise and experience.

My last bill for the session was presented in public hearings on Wednesday. LB 1095 is an E-15 Ethanol Act “clean up” bill. The Department of Revenue and the Department of Agriculture asked for these clarifications: the specific definitions of motor fuels and ethanol blends, storage tanks and dispensers, and dates .There was no opposition to the bill. I hope it sails through the process and continues to encourage ethanol availability.

Most committees are finishing up their public hearings this week. The Appropriations committee on which I serve heard 59 bills as well as reports from all state agencies. We finished those up on Tuesday so we are now in the process of going back through all the agency adjustment requests; then we will take up the Governor’s budget proposals as well as reviewing the funds he wants to bring back into the state’s budget. Finally, we will consider bills we heard in committee.

Appropriations met in a special executive session this week to vote on whether to advance LB 1402 to first round debate. Sponsored and prioritized by Sen. Linehan of Elkhorn, the bill would appropriate $25 million out of general funds to provide grants to scholarship organizations for eligible students to attend a K-12 private school. Sen. Linehan brought the bill as a replacement for the Opportunity Scholarship Act, passed last year to allow income tax credit on contributions made to scholarship organizations. However, that Act was the subject of a successful referendum petition drive, and the possible repeal of the Act will be on the November ballot. The vote to advance LB 1402 out of committee was 6 to 3. I did not vote in favor of advancing the bill.

A note on agency requests. As you know the state budget spans two years. Nebraska has 74 agencies with 275 programs, the largest being the Department of Health and Human Services. In the first budget year, each agency must update their numbers and submit a report by December. For the second year changes may occur if, for example, a program has excess funds; or something arose that caused their budget to fall short. Of course during Covid, we had a lot of those shortfalls, but we are not seeing that this year. In general, state agencies do not have the authority to shift funding around between programs without the approval of the Legislature. So sometimes an agency will ask for permission to move unused funds in their original budget to other projects.

Two years ago the state received $1.04 billion in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding from the federal government. As we went through the process of allocating the funds through the Appropriations Committee we anticipated that some projects would not fit the federal criteria or could not be completed by the deadline. ARPA funds must be allocated by the end of this year and spent by September 30th, 2026. As a result we are now reviewing reallocation requests.

LB 931, introduced by Sen. Fredrickson is one of those. He asked for a reallocation of $2.5 million for the Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska, BHECN, to increase mental health treatment capacity. The intended purpose is the same but the mechanism for spending those dollars has been adjusted to make sure we can capture that funding for Nebraska . There are some excellent projects out there that received ARPA funding and we want to make sure it all gets used appropriately.
The exact amount of unallocated ARPA funds varies, due to pending uses, reallocation, etc., but could perhaps be as much as $80 million. The Governor wanted to move that money to the Department of Transportation to use for safety measures. Sen. McDonnell’s bill LB1079 would give some to the Department of Economic Development for reinvestment, low income housing construction loans, and so on.

On Wednesday, I was able to meet with the Leadership Beatrice class and listen to a talk by Bryan Slone, State Chamber president. He indicated how far behind we are as a state with workforce/affordable housing. Testifiers at the hearing for LB 1079 also spoke to the scarcity of housing for those in poverty and people with disabilities. When you hear from builders, you also find out the term “affordable housing” means different things. Housing can be very different in communities in rural Nebraska compared to a newer part of Omaha, and with a very different price tag, including District 30.

Contact me any time at Call or leave a message at 402-471-2620. Thank you.

Sen. Myron Dorn

District 30
Room 1208
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
(402) 471-2620
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