This is Senator Steve Halloran representing District 33.
Greetings from your State Capitol!
The legislative hearing process is in full swing this week. Once a bill has been introduced by a Senator on the floor of the legislature the bill is sent to Reference Committee for assignment to one of the fourteen standing committees or a Select or Special committee based on the content of Bill. Once the bill has been assigned to the appropriate committee, the committee will schedule a hearing date. The number of bills scheduled for a hearing will vary based on breadth and depth of bills. These hearings provide citizens with direct opportunity to weigh in on public policy. Unless otherwise indicated, hearings begin at 1:30 p.m. Each bill is introduced by the senator who sponsors it. After the senator finishes his or her introduction, the committee chairperson will ask proponents of the bill to come forward and state their reasons for supporting the measure. Then, the chairperson will ask opponents of the bill to state their opinions, followed by neutral testimony. So for the next several weeks I will be busy with committee hearings both listening to bills and presenting them. I serve on the Agriculture, Judiciary, and Business and Labor standing committees as well as the Special committee of Justice Reinvestment Oversight.
I have sponsored six bills for this 90 day session. LB 214 deals with the sustainability of Master Teacher Program. LB 273 addresses the calculation rounding of wages for the based period in unemployment benefits. LB274 amends the Plant Protection and Plant Pest Act to better and more efficiently implement the provisions of the Nebraska Rangeland Grasshopper Control Act, which is being repealed. LB319 provides for confidentiality of workers compensation claims. My fifth bill LB366 help properly align parole administration and the funding mechanisms needed to run that offices duties. The final bill I sponsored was LB556 which addresses the use of facsimile firearm in the commission of a felony. Now these are very simplified overviews of the bills but it does provide a glimpse at the issues I am working on your behalf.
As you are mostly likely aware, after encouragement from many of my fellow Senators, Senator Bill Kintner resigned from the legislature on Wednesday. The Senator made the right choice for himself, his family, and the good people of Nebraska. The entire situation served a major distraction to this legislative session. I am looking forward to focusing on the business at hand.
One of my goals is to add some of District 33’s common sense to the Legislative Body. As the old adage goes, common sense is a flower that doesn’t necessarily grow in everybody’s garden.
Please do not hesitate to contact my office if you have any questions, if you have questions pertaining on the legislative process or policy, you may speak with my Legislative Aide Drew. If you would like schedule an appointment, you may speak with Alex my Administrative Assistant. Either I or my capitol staff can be reached at the office in Lincoln at 402-471-2712. I also encourage everyone to visit the official state legislative website at Nebraskalegislature.gov and follow me on Facebook at Senator Steve Halloran.