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Myron Dorn

Sen. Myron Dorn

District 30

The content of these pages is developed and maintained by, and is the sole responsibility of, the individual senator's office and may not reflect the views of the Nebraska Legislature. Questions and comments about the content should be directed to the senator's office at

January 4th, 2023

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

Podcast Series Begins
September 8th, 2023

The Clerk of the Legislature and Unicameral Update, media division of the Legislature, have started a new podcast series. Sen. Dorn was featured in September. You can listen on Apple here:

and Android here:

Summer Update
July 27th, 2023

The “interim”, those months when the Legislature is between sessions, brings a completely different workload for senators and staff. This allows us to turn from daily hearings, meetings and floor debate to a more focused study of important issues. We also have more time to meet with constituents and attend meetings and events. That has certainly been the case since early June, when the session adjourned.

As chairman of the Performance Audit Committee (PAC), I have held several meetings with Audit staff and committee members in preparation for the retirement of director Martha Carter, and the hiring of Stephanie Meese as the new director. We appreciate Martha’s years of dedication and success at PAC, and welcome Stephanie as we move forward. Stephanie has worked for the Legislature since 2004, and has more than 15 years of auditing experience. She previously served as Legal Counsel to the Legislative Audit Office, and happens to be a resident of District 30.

The purpose of the PAC is to review state agency programs to evaluate the agency’s success in effectively implementing legislative intent. Senators are able to recommend programs for review, and the committee selects those which have priority. I believe PAC has an important role in making sure legislation is carried out correctly and responsibly.

As part of my duties on the Appropriations Committee, I also serve on the Building and Maintenance Committee again this year. This involves examination of state owned properties across Nebraska, and assessing their current condition and needs for upkeep. Each summer the committee selects four locations for hands-on appraisal. Our first tour was at Peru State College. This committee also has approval authority over gifts and grants of “brick and mortar” to state institutions.

We are working on three interim studies, LR 164, LR 203 and LR 208. The purpose of LR 164 is to study
improving the handicapped accessibility of parking, entryways into, and interior spaces in the Nebraska State Capitol. The State Capitol has only one entrance that allows handicapped accessibility with a ramp and push button entry, handicapped parking is a great distance from entries, not all restrooms are adapted for handicapped accessibility, and elevators are not large enough to accommodate some wheelchairs.

Due to the historic nature of the State Capitol and physical structure, certain handicapped accessibility changes may not be feasible. However, the State Capitol should be accessible to employees, citizens, and visitors to the greatest extent possible.

LR 203 was introduced to review how the State of Nebraska can ensure it has effective emergency medical
services in rural communities. Access to emergency medical care is vital to the health of rural communities across the country. Ambulance services face increasing difficulty in responding to emergencies in the rural areas due to workforce shortages and financial crises.

About a third of rural emergency medical services agencies in the USA are in immediate operational jeopardy because the agencies cannot cover costs, largely due to insufficient medicaid and medicare reimbursements. These reimbursements cover, on average, about one-third of the actual costs to maintain equipment, stock medications, and pay for insurance and other fixed expenses.

The final study, LR 208, examines the current funding mechanisms and operations of Nebraska’s Mesonet
System. The Mesonet is a statewide weather monitoring and data collection system consisting of sixty-eight individual weather stations in forty-nine Nebraska counties. Each weather station collects real-time data on approximately thirty separate weather-related data points. This information is especially useful in times of drought, wildfires and water shortages that we have experienced in recent months.

Nebraska’s urban officials and city managers, food and agricultural producers and many business concerns rely upon this publicly available data for a variety of important decisions. The information is also utilized by our Natural Resource Districts, cooperatives, the National Weather Service, the Forest Service, Game and Parks, local fire departments to name just a few.

I am working with UNL IANR Vice Chancellor Mike Boehm on bringing together these many interested parties, to discuss needs and funding. Listening sessions will be conducted, and a working group will determine if future legislation will be beneficial.

A quick list of some of the meetings and activities I have been able to attend so far includes: Chamber of Commerce meetings, hosted international visitors, Gage County Sheriff, National Weather Service in Valley tour, Veterans group, Homestead Days, broadband ribbon cutting, Blue Valley ribbon cutting, Grazing Lands tour and panel, Gage County Board of Supervisors, EMS representatives, Behavioral Health Legislative Discussion Group, Tractor Testing Laboratory, Health and Human Services operations, Lincoln Industries tour, serving at the People’s City Mission with Lincoln/Lancaster senators, Nebraska Investment Council, Cell Gro Technologies in Lincoln, Wymore Car Show, meetings/calls/zooms with individuals constituents and this week, the Gage County Fair.

I always appreciate hearing from you, any time of the year. Contact me at 402-471-2620, send email to The mailing address is: District 30, State Capitol, PO Box 94604, Lincoln, NE 68509-4604.



June 22nd, 2023

Sen. Dorn, in conjunction with the city of Lincoln’s Council for International Visitors and the U.S. State Department, hosted members of an ag delegation on his farm in mid June. Countries represented included:  Austria, Czech Republic, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Iraq, Kuwait, Serbia, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

The Legislature has adjourned, ending our work on the 88th day of a possible 90 day session. Since January, major issues have been debated including several that will affect taxes, education, economic development and criminal justice. Much attention was also given to social and cultural issues, resulting in many filibusters.

A main piece of legislation in the session is always the budget. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, this was a primary focus for me, as it has been the past five years while serving in the Unicameral. I have reported our progress as we put together the financial package for the state, culminating in a nearly $10 billion budget. Late last week, the Governor returned the budget package with several vetoes.

On Wednesday, we took up motions to override those line item vetoes of specific appropriations. The first was a motion to put rates for Medicaid providers back into the budget at a level of 2% the second year of the biennium, FY 23-24. After much discussion about how much funding was already available but not yet dispersed by Health and Human Services, this motion failed with a vote of 22 to 24. An override requires 30 yes votes.

A motion to fund expansion of the State Auditor’s staff to accommodate additional work was discussed, with support for the quality of previous audits and the experience of State Auditor, Mike Foley. There was also concern about the appropriate use and distribution of federal ARPA funding and the need to track those dollars. This override was successful, the vote was 31 votes for and 14 against.

Another override motion would have restored funds for workforce housing. Again, the debate on this topic included the use of existing funds first. This motion failed on a 25 to 23 vote. A motion to fund interpreters and ex-officio clerks used in the court system across the state failed on a 20 to 23 vote. Additional motions offered as overrides also failed.

I support using our state’s financial resources as efficiently and prudently as possible. I also know that funding ongoing budget items, such as salaries, with one time funds such as would require dipping into reserves, may not be sustainable in the long run. With that in mind, as well as my knowledge of the process followed by the Appropriations Committee, I did vote to override several of the line item vetoes.

If you remember last January, I introduced 16 bills. I also signed on as a co-sponsor to an additional 19 bills. I was very pleased to get LB 562 across the finish line, to expand the accessibility of Ethanol E-15 across Nebraska. Additional use of ethanol will benefit the state’s economy and the environment. A signing ceremony was held on Thursday at the Governor’s Mansion, which included Sen. Vargas of Omaha and Sen. Brandt of Plymouth as their bills for food truck regulations and beginning farmer legislation, respectively, were included in LB 562.

My remaining bills were either included in the budget, combined with other bills, or are still pending. LB 45 to revitalize rural Nebraska was incorporated into LB 531 which was passed on Thursday. LB 90 was merged into LB 254, relating to tax incentive performance audits. I introduced that bill as the Chair of the Legislature’s Performance Audition Committee.

Several of my bills were placed into the general budget: LB 128, 129, 131, 361 and 362. LB 361 deals with funding for the Precision Agriculture Infrastructure Grant Program; the remainder address hospitals, assisted living and nursing facility funding.

A couple of bills will be turned into interim studies for further research and possible amendments or new bills for the next session. One will examine how the state can ensure it has effective emergency medical services in rural communities. Another will evaluate the current funding mechanisms and operations of the state mesonet system, a series of automated weather stations that aid in disaster mitigation, such as flooding and wildfires, and more accurate weather forecasting.

I also introduced a proposal to find ways to improve the handicapped accessibility of parking, entryways and interior spaces of the Capitol. If you have ever attempted to enter the building in a wheelchair, or even on crutches, you know the difficulty of accessing our beautiful state Capitol. We hope to find ways to preserve the historical and architectural integrity of the building, while making it possible for everyone to navigate and enjoy.

During the interim, I will continue my work with the Performance Audit Committee which chooses several programs each year for review of adherence to legislative intent and success in implementation. I also serve on the Building and Maintenance Committee, which has oversight for all state owned properties. With these and the studies mentioned above, I expect another very busy summer and fall before we reconvene next January.

The interim is a great time for you to communicate your ideas and concerns. My staff will be on duty, and the answering machine is always on. Contact me at . Call 402-471-2620. Send mail to District 30, PO Box 94604, Lincoln, Ne 68509-4604. Updates will be sent on a monthly basis going forward. Wishing everyone in District 30 a safe and happy summer.




Day 85 Update
May 25th, 2023

The Legislature has completed 85 days of this 90-day session. The long hours and intensity ramp up a bit as we must work through the three stages for passing bills in the very short time remaining. The Memorial Day weekend comes at a good time, allowing us to refocus on the freedoms we have in this nation, and honor those who gave all to preserve those rights for us.

This week several major proposals were up for debate including voter identification, education scholarship tax credits and justice reform. The week ended with examination of the governor’s line item vetoes on the budget and possible motions to override.

The Appropriations Committee met early on Thursday to discuss the vetoes and possible action. I was disappointed to see so many crucial reductions after the Committee had worked cooperatively with the governor in crafting the budget. Our decisions were not made lightly; we labored over each item in the budget. Careful consideration was given to each individual expenditure, as well as the impact on the state today and in years to come.

I was especially concerned about vetoes of more than $45 million in increases for provider rates for Medicaid providers. As I have mentioned in past updates, bolstering health care is vital in so many ways. We need to ensure areas outside of Lincoln and Omaha have viable and up to date facilities and a strong workforce. In our metro areas, we must be able to keep these services growing and on the cutting edge of treatments.

Among the other items vetoed were both rural workforce housing and middle income housing in urban areas. Some business leaders and rural senators have called the lack of housing a major barrier to solving the state’s workforce shortage. Other programs that had reductions in funding included additional court interpreters, public guardians and expansion of the Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program that helps children in the court system. In next week’s report, I will comment further on any overrides that were successful.

Many hours of debate this week were spent on tax credits for contributions toward scholarships for attending private schools. This bill was introduced by Sen. Linehan at the request of the governor. It allows individuals, passthrough entities, estates, trusts and corporations to claim an income tax credit of up to 50 percent of their state income tax liability on these contributions.The first two years the total is capped at $25 million: it could then increase based on several things. Much of the discussion centered on who would benefit from these credits and the effect on public schools and state revenues. For these reasons, I did not vote in favor of the bill.

Another eight hours elapsed as we debated voter identification. If you remember, this was on the ballot last fall and Nebraska voters passed an amendment to the Nebraska Constitution to “require that, before casting a ballot in any election, a qualified voter shall present valid photographic identification in a manner specified by the Legislature.”

LB 514 laid out requirements for valid forms of photo identification including documents issued by the state (such as a driver’s license), state agencies or political subdivisions, the military, postsecondary educational institutions, or a recognized Native tribe. Hospitals and care home records that utilize a photo ID would also qualify. Mail in ballots would need to include a copy of the ID or their driver’s license or state ID number. The Secretary of State would then have to match the number to the state election database. Just to be clear, you would need to show an ID, or meet the exclusions, every time you vote.

Sen. Brewer, chairman of the Government Committee, said the measure would implement the will of the people expressed in the constitutional amendment, while not infringing on the rights of eligible voters. We passed the bill on a vote of 44 to 1, although I do expect additional time to be taken on the next stage of debate.

Criminal justice reform was another contentious issue before us this week. The main bill, LB 50, creates several programs to improve the state justice system such as more problem-solving courts, probation incentives and parole oversight. Behavioral health treatments and an increase in probation officers were also included.

Over 98% of those incarcerated will be released from prison and return to society. Offering parole is an excellent way for the state to monitor the parollee’s actions as he or she transitions back into society. The goal of the programming is to provide more oversight, a support system, career guidance and family structures that will result in a positive start to a new life, and prevent a return to prison.

There was also a lot of conversation on the floor about preserving the rights of victims of crime and ensuring adequate sentences are served before parole. With these differing viewpoints between some of the senators who practice law, amendments are being considered before the next round of debate.

There are only five working days left in this session. Your conversations and input are always important to me and to the legislative process. Thank you! 402-471-2620






Update for May 19
May 22nd, 2023

As you always see at the end of these weekly updates, I invite your communication via calls, emails or letters. I mean that sincerely, as your representative in the Nebraska Legislature.

This current session, my office has received more correspondence than ever before, directly due to the subject matter of bills up for debate. I still look at every email, letter and phone message and try to respond, even if just an acknowledgement of receipt, to everyone in the district.

During recent conversation on the floor about a particular bill, one senator stated that we are all (the entire Legislature) concerned about children, we just have differing ideas on what it means to protect them. This explanation applies to nearly every issue on which there is disagreement. We often have similar goals but varying ideas on how to achieve them.

It may also be that we will never agree. I try to listen carefully to all arguments, pro and con, before I cast a vote. If it comes to a tipping point, I will go with the fact that I was elected on a specific platform and will adhere to those values. That said, your input is always important and invited.

This week we got to Day 80 of the session, which is the date the biennial budget must be passed. The Legislature approved the state’s $10.7 billion two-year budget package on May 17th and 18th. The package consisted of seven bills dealing with everything from payment of salaries for judges, constitutional officers and senators to various construction programs.

The main-line budget bill, LB 814, carries funding for state aid and for the operations of state government. This bill gave final authorization to the $335 million expenditure for a new state prison, $8.5 million for increases in reimbursement rates for child welfare service providers, and $574.5 million for the Perkins Canal project to protect Nebraska’s water rights with Colorado.

One of my priorities this year was to ensure increased rates for behavioral health providers, higher reimbursement rates for assisted living facilities, nursing homes and hospitals. These increased rates were included in the budget package.

Our state cash reserve sits at a strong $780 million dollars. I have discussed this “rainy day” fund in previous updates along with my concerns that we keep the long range view in mind, while funding as many projects as we can with the surplus dollars available to Nebraska in recent years.

Now that the Legislature has passed the state budget package, the Governor has five calendar days to make any line-item vetoes. This authority is given to the Governor only on the state budget. If or when he returns any line-item vetoes, the legislature will have the opportunity to consider possible overrides which would require 30 votes.

The Revenue Committee also presented a package of bills for consideration this week. LB 727 is the vehicle for 26 bills running the gamut of exempting twine and bailing wire from sales tax (treated as a business input) to revamping the Job Creation and Mainstreet Revitalization Act. One significant piece in this bill is the creation of “Good Life Districts”. These districts would have to meet certain thresholds of job creation and development benchmarks. The districts would also have to show that upon completion of the project, at least 20 percent of the project’s sales come from out-of-state residents, with the goal of attracting large retailers.
Another bill included in the revenue package was sponsored by Sen. Brandt. It would permit retail dealers that sell and dispense biodiesel to apply for a refundable state income tax credit equal to 14 cents per gallon sold. The state Department of Revenue could approve up to $2 million in credits each year, and no new applications could be filed after Dec. 31, 2028. These proposals are designed to make Nebraska more competitive in a number of different markets.

Late on Thursday, the Legislature took up LB 531. This bill, as introduced by Sen. McKinney of Omaha, deals with the Economic Recovery Act passed by the Legislature in 2022, which provided funding for pandemic recovery projects in North and South Omaha and other communities that were disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A couple of bills of interest to District 30 were amended into the McKinney bill. LB506 would authorize a $180 million grant to a primary class city to fund a water treatment plant, land acquisition, wellfields, permitting, pumping and transportation costs to provide potable water to the city. This will be crucial for the city of Lincoln as the water supply dwindles over time.

Another important boost for our smaller communities was included in LB 531, my LB 45 would create the Revitalize Rural Nebraska Grant Fund for cities of the first class, second class, or village. This grant of $1 million would provide for dilapidated commercial property deconstruction, and would be run by the Department of Environment and Energy. This is a good starting point for helping small towns and main street areas clean up old buildings and improve business districts in our more rural communities.

There has been thorough coverage of the debate process on LB 574 (The Let Them Grow Act) and LB 626, which would ban abortions after 12 weeks; and how these two measures were amended into one bill. This was a very intense, emotional issue. I want you to know I met personally with several families and multiple health care providers; and read through pages and pages of documentation on these topics. It would be impossible to craft legislation to cover every possible scenario. And obviously, this is one of those issues on which we might not agree on the approach to caring for and protecting children. The bill was taken up on Friday for debate, and in the end it passed on a vote of 33 to 15. I voted to support this measure.

Again, be assured I welcome and value your input. Contact me at or 402.471-2620. Thank you.

Weekly Update
May 12th, 2023

The late evening debates in the Unicameral have been making news, but what you do not see is all the work going on behind the scenes. A tremendous amount of technical work goes into the session by our legislative divisions such as the Clerk’s office, transcribers, bill drafters, IT, research and so on. But it also takes effort on the part of each senator to get information out to fellow senators, bring in supporting testimony, and find areas of agreement to get a bill moved forward.

My priority bill, LB 562, is an excellent example of this focused approach. Even though LB 562 was advanced on first round debate, it still needed to be amended by the Agriculture Committee. With the ongoing filibusters, this was not accomplished until the second round. It required negotiations and hard work by a lot of people but we were able to move LB 562 to final reading.

In the committee amendment to LB 562, retailers will be incentivized to increase the blender rate of ethanol from the current average of 9.7% up to 14% in the next five years. If a new fueling station is built in that time frame, or an upgrade is made to 80% of the facility, then half the pumps would need to be E15 compatible. Incentives are in the form of tax credits to retailers, and are based on gallons sold and cents per gallon; they can choose to pass that along to the consumer or put it back into the business to cover costs. Either way, it flows back into the Nebraska economy, boosts ethanol consumption and production, and provides an enhanced market for corn; while producing a more environmentally friendly fuel and giving consumers more options.

Also included now in LB 562 is Sen.Tom Brandt’s beginning farmer program at a $2 million funding level. The amendment of LB 116 into the ethanol bill was adopted 38-0. It is intended to help those just starting out in agriculture with tax exemptions and credits, and also to owners who rent assets to beginning farmers and ranchers.

A second measure was also incorporated into LB 562. This one was brought by Sen. Tony Vargas of Omaha, to simplify the permitting process for food trucks, and was adopted by a vote of 40-0. There was no cost to this bill, and it will be beneficial as it makes requirements more consistent across the state for the growing, and very popular, food truck industry. The last hurdle for LB 562 is final reading and then on to the Governor for approval.

All the budget bills have now been advanced on to final reading, which should be completed next week. That is the only constitutional requirement for the Legislature and it will be good to have that accomplished as we have only a dozen working days left in this 90 day session.

Overall, the budget reflects a growth rate held to 2.3% and leaves about 16% (two months’ worth) of annual spending in the Cash Reserve, known as the Rainy Day Fund. An additional transfer was moved from the reserve into the General Fund at the request of the Governor. There won’t be much more taken out of that cash reserve, nor should there be. But this will allow for covering the cost of other legislation, since funding must come directly from the General Fund.

Five years ago when I started my first term as a state senator, the cash reserve was only at $300 million and we had to work to get it up to $345 million. By my third year we had about $990 million in reserve, and last year it grew to over $1.6 billion. Without any spending this year, it could have grown to $2.3 billion. Of course, this rapid growth was due to the influx into Nebraska of massive federal funding from pandemic relief programs and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). As a result, some large project expenditures have been approved, including the Perkins Canal, a new prison and the Education Future Fund. It also allowed for moving some of the ARPA funding to support projects such as water for the city of Lincoln and other vital programs.

As long as the state forecasting board’s predictions are sound, we will be fine. But there are many economic factors that go into this, and we will need to keep a sharp eye out for changes that could affect the cash reserve/rainy day fund in coming years.

Floor debate this week included LB 727, a package from the Revenue Committee covering a range of topics. Beginning with sales and use tax provisions, other subjects were: the Imagine Act, the Build Nebraska Act, the Nebraska Advantage Rural Development Act, transformational products, good life districts, taxes on vaping and nicotine, jobs, mainstreet revitalization and others. All together, twenty bills were combined into LB 727.

Additional legislation discussed this week included LB 243. It combines six bills and provides direct property tax credits, deals with property valuation appeals, funding for community colleges and child care tax credits. I consider the addition of the child care provisions to be good for this bill as we have heard so much in the past couple of years about both the cost and lack of childcare in many communities. As a package, LB 243 will provide tax relief for anyone who owns property and that part of the bill is very good.

As we proceed through the last couple of weeks of this current session, I welcome your correspondence. Email me at or call 402-471-2620. You can follow the progress of all bills and watch the Unicameral live at



May 5 Update
May 5th, 2023

The National Day of Prayer was observed in the Capitol Rotunda on Thursday. Among the many significant concerns for our state and country, we are experiencing critical drought conditions across most of Nebraska. Hopefully by the time you read this update, we will all have received a good rain.

Major legislation was considered in debate this week. The first was LB 705, the Education Committee priority bill, into which 22 other bills were amended. The underlying bill would distribute over $24 million in state lottery funds to various education sources, including college access and opportunity grants. The lottery portion of this bill was due to sunset at the end of the year, and needed to be extended. Amended bills covered a range of educational needs from addressing the growing teacher shortage to increasing mental health resources and equipping educators accordingly.

Still other amendments dealt with paraprofessionals, creating pathways for more people to get their teaching credentials and eliminating the Praxis Test. Grants to help retain teachers were included. Studies have shown if someone stays in education for so many years in the profession, they are more likely to make that their career. The LB 705 education package met with little opposition overall and was passed to the next round by a vote of 40 to 0.

The biennial budget for Fiscal Years 23-24 and 24-25 was distributed to the full Legislature early Tuesday. A briefing for all senators was held on Wednesday. The entire report runs 267 pages and can be accessed from the home page of the Unicameral at or by following the link HERE.

As we have noted in updates in the past, the task of the Appropriations Committee (the only five-day committee) is to review all state agency budgets and programs, the Governor’s proposal, and requests for funding in senator’s bills. From these pieces, we assemble a complete budget package for the full Legislature to consider.

In his proposed budget, Governor Pillen recommended a 1.3% growth rate. The difference between the Appropriations Committee budget package, which has average growth of 2.3% for the two years of the budget, and the Governor’s plan, was an increase in Medicaid provider rates. As a Committee, we increased these rates with $80 million from the general fund for hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities. That will garner about $122 million in matching federal funding for Medicaid, resulting in around $202 million in the next two years to bolster this important sector of healthcare.

LB 814 is the mainline budget bill, which is introduced by the Speaker at the request of the Governor. It runs from July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2025, totalling about $5.35 billion of General Funds appropriations for each year of the two year budget. This measure includes the budget proposals for all State operations and aid programs. The amendment, AM915, becomes the bill and contains the Appropriations Committee’s budget recommendation and the provisions of LB 817, which is the appropriations bill for capital construction projects, and several other bills.

LB 818 is the Appropriations Committee’s funding and cash transfers for a variety of projects and programs including (not the entire list): the Cash Reserve Fund, Cultural Preservation, Vocational and Life Skills Programming, Agricultural Products Research, Charitable Gaming, State Parks, Economic Recovery, Water Recreation, Panhandle Improvement, Surface Water Irrigation, Environmental Trust, the Critical Infrastructure Facilities and the Interlocal Cooperation Act for the purpose of funding a portion of the cost of a wastewater system.

LB 818 also includes the Perkins County Canal Project Fund, and credits fees collected for water
delivery to the fund and allows the money in the fund to be used to “identify the optimal route and
purchase land for and develop, construct, manage, and operate the Perkins County Canal”.

Additional sections of the bill deal with the Health Care Cash Fund, Medicaid and the Nebraska Tobacco Settlement Trust Fund. It creates the Capitol Preservation, Restoration, and Enhancement Endowment Fund and the Education Future Fund. The Site and Building Development Act was amended to allow for riverfront improvement projects, housing, employment, or programming for youth exiting foster care; and cities that have partnered with the U.S. Department of Defense for upgrades to ground based nuclear deterrence.

Also in LB 818, the Shovel-Ready Capital Recovery and Investment Act was amended and the Economic Recovery Act and use of the Economic Contingency Fund were addressed. The Department of Health and Human Services will be required to submit a state plan concerning assistance for needy families, child advocacy centers, domestic violence services; and grants to nonprofits that provide food assistance. New programs include the Economic Development Cash Fund,the Lead Service Line Cash Fund, the Panhandle Improvement Project Cash Fund and the Youth Outdoor Education Innovation Fund.

If you have actually read this far, you can see from the exhausting list why the Appropriations Committee has just one job – develop the state budget. We consider each individual request, agency and program and take multiple votes before we advance the finished budget. This also explains why ten days of the session are devoted to budget debate and passage, why the Governor has line item veto powers and why passing the budget is the one constitutional requirement of the Legislature each biennium.

As we debate these issues, you are always welcome to contact me at or call 402-471-2620. I appreciate your communication.



Happy Arbor Day!
April 27th, 2023

While many parts of the world celebrate Earth Day, here in Nebraska we celebrate our very own homegrown holiday – Arbor Day. Also this week, History Nebraska gave the Historic Preservation Award to Main Street Beatrice (MSB). I had the honor of presenting this award to Michael Sothan. Congratulations to MSB, and to all of our Nebraska communities working to better our state in a variety of ways.

At the beginning of the current session, I began the work of shepherding sixteen bills through the legislative process. Despite the lack of time for debate this year, several have made good progress. One of those, LB 90, relating to tax incentive performance audits, has been incorporated into another bill. I selected LB 562 as my priority and will discuss that later in this update. LB 401 will be studied over the interim and brought back next year.

Six of the remaining bills I am carrying have been included in the main line budget bills. Five of those deal with Medicaid reimbursement rates for hospitals, assisted living facilities, nursing homes and behavioral health providers. The last one appropriates funding for the development of broadband for precision agriculture.

Underpinning all of our budget discussions is the latest revenue estimate from the Nebraska Economic Forecast Advisory Board. The forecasting board is composed of nine people from across the state and met Wednesday afternoon. When we bring the budget to the floor next week, their forecast will help determine the revenue available to be allocated, appropriated, or given as tax credits.

Only minor adjustments were made to their previous projections. Revenue amounts for the current fiscal year were lowered by $80 million to $6.36 billion. The adjustment was based on anticipated decreases of $200 million in individual income and sales and use tax receipts, offset in part by projected increases of $120 million in corporate and miscellaneous tax receipts. Total projected revenue receipts for FY2023-24, however, were raised by $25 million and the FY2024-25 projections were raised by $55 million.

So with basically a net change in revenue of zero for the next couple of years, we made minimal changes to the budget in the Appropriations Committee, and voted to bring it to the floor in the form of five bills. Governor Pillen was excited about the forecast and commented that we can continue work on returning some of the tax money to the people of the state of Nebraska.

The budget will be out in a print version on Tuesday for review, and we will take up debate on the budget on Wednesday, May 3. The Speaker has chosen to make the five budget bills a “super priority” which gives him the ability to determine the order of taking up amendments, length of debate on each issue, and when votes will be taken.

Included in the budget package are three “big ticket” items. The largest was the Governor’s proposal to create a billion dollar Education Future Fund, to be used to increase state aid for K-12 schools. Another substantial item was the Perkins County canal project to manage water coming down the South Platte from Colorado; $574.5 million was set aside for that purpose. A new prison is the third highest in cost. Some of the previously allocated funding was given spending authority of $70 million the first year to begin building that project. These three will no doubt generate plenty of discussion on the floor.

I was very pleased to see my provider rate bills included in the budget package, I am very thankful to get that funding for those entities. During covid, we learned about the staffing challenges many nursing homes and hospitals were, and still are, facing. We were recently briefed on another side to this problem, that bringing in traveling nurses and other personnel is not always the answer we had hoped, for a number of reasons.

Another consequence has been hospitals having to house and care for long term patients who are waiting for space in a nursing home facility. Hospitals have had to absorb much of that cost and in some cases, the wait has been for several months to a year. As a state we are still trying to work through the effects of pandemic. Again, I want to emphasize, we must work to keep our care facilities, at every level, viable and open as an option in both rural and urban areas.

LB 626, known as the “heartbeat bill”, which would restrict abortions after about six weeks, was up for second round debate on Thursday. An amendment to change from a six week ban to a 12 week ban was offered but not adopted. After a four hour filibuster, a cloture vote failed to garner the needed 33 votes. The final cloture vote was 32 ayes, 15 nays and two not voting. I support LB 626 as a co-sponsor and voted for cloture.

My priority bill, LB 562, The E 15 Access Standard Act, did advance to the second stage of debate on a vote of 32 ayes, 1 nay, and 13 not voting. An amendment from the Agriculture Committee will be offered to remove some requirements, add some waivers and include blender rates and tax credits. Nebraska ranks second in ethanol production in the entire USA, yet is nearly last in consumption. Consumers can’t use what they can’t buy, so this bill is designed to increase accessibility and the option to use E 15. Increasing the statewide blend rate from the current 9.6% to the goal of 14% would save consumers around $50 million per year on fuel costs, while benefiting the state economy and the environment.

Contact me at any time at or call 402-471-2620. You can also watch the session by clicking the Nebraska Public Media icon on the website:


Sen. Myron Dorn

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