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Tom Brandt

Sen. Tom Brandt

District 32

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Legislative Update
April 25th, 2022

The second session of the 107th Legislature has adjourned for the year. It was the shorter 60-day session but a lot was accomplished and it was historic for the state of Nebraska. Four of the seven bills I introduced this session were signed into law as well as one from last session. 

LB91 is a bill that I have been working on for three years to change the duration for native seed testing that finally crossed the finish line. In 2020, the bill was derailed due to the covid-19 interruption and last session we ran out of time before getting to it. LB755, a bill to appropriate funds to the Independent Processor Assistance Program that was created in my bill LB324 from last session, was amended into LB1014, the $1 billion ARPA funding Appropriations Committee bill. In the end, $9,875,000 will go to small meat processors to help expand their operations and strengthen our meat supply chain. LB758 added early childhood education such as pre-schools to the popular Nebraska Farm to School statewide program overseen by the NE Department of Education. LB807 changes provisions relating to a tax levy and county funding for a nonprofit county historical association or society. The bill was brought to me by former senator Russ Karpisek who is the legislative liaison for the Nebraska Auditor of Public Accounts and will be retiring soon. Happy retirement Karpi! LB1009, amended into LB741, creates a domestic abuse death review team in the Attorney General’s office to review and study deaths linked to domestic violence in order to make recommendations to prevent future deaths. 

My priority bill LB543 on right to repair fell victim to scheduling, running out of time and extended debate. While I am disappointed that the bill did not get to a vote and advance, I thought we had an important discussion on right to repair that included the increased computerization of farm equipment, data and privacy rights of equipment owners, consolidation of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), and our hope that this issue can be resolved on the national level through a Memorandum of Understanding between the OEMs and American Farm Bureau Federation. In the meantime, I will continue to advocate for the right of allowing farmers and third party mechanics access to the digital tools and software they need to repair ag equipment.

I also had the opportunity to participate in bill signings with the Governor for legislation that I was involved in and co-sponsored this session, including:

  • LB873, which I mentioned in my previous column, was a massive tax cut package that includes elimination of taxes on social security, property tax relief, lower income and corporate tax rates, and creates a community college tax credit.
  • LB1023, which came out of my work on the Statewide Tourism And Recreational Water Access and Resource Sustainability (STAR WARS) Committee, includes the Jobs and Economic Development Initiative (JEDI) Act and studying certain projects such as a reservoir in between Lincoln and Omaha, Lake McConaughy renovations, and projects in Niobrara State Recreation Area and Lewis and Clark Lake.  
  • LB1261, which would adopt the Nebraska Higher Blend Tax Credit Act, and change provisions of the ImagiNE Nebraska Act, the Nebraska Advantage Rural Development Act, and the Urban Redevelopment Act.

My legislative staff will be working hard during the interim if you have questions or concerns to be addressed.

Sen. Tom Brandt

District 32
Room 1528
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
(402) 471-2711
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