NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE

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Dave Murman

Sen. Dave Murman

District 38

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 dmurman@leg.ne.gov

Welcome
January 6th, 2021

Thank you for visiting my website. It is an honor to represent the people of the 38th 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.

Sincerely,
Sen. Dave Murman

I think it is important to tell my constituents where I stand on Covid-19 vaccine and mask mandates. As you might imagine, I have received numerous calls and emails lately on this topic. There is great concern about federal overreach and the idea of being forced to do something that violates personal choice and possibly religious beliefs.

On September 9th, President Biden issued an executive order mandating Covid-19 vaccinations. According to the Associated Press:

  • All federal workers and contractors must get vaccinated, with limited exceptions.
  • Private employers with 100 or more workers will have to require them to be vaccinated or tested weekly. Employers must provide paid time off for vaccination.
  • About 17 million health care workers in hospitals, clinics and other facilities that accept Medicare and Medicaid payments must get vaccinated.
  • Some 300,000 employees of Head Start early childhood education and other federal education programs must get vaccinated.

Some employers such as Union Pacific Railroad in Omaha and 3M in Valley are saying they will lay off employees that choose not to get the vaccine. People have contacted me about tough decisions they may be forced to make regarding doing something that they do not want to do versus leaving a job they have held for years.

In the first session of the 107th Legislature, Senator Ben Hansen of Blair introduced LB 643. I am a cosponsor of this bill. The intention of the bill is “To maintain the individual liberty, parental rights, and free market principles of the citizens and businesses of Nebraska during a state of emergency declared by the Governor, or anytime thereafter, it is the right of each citizen, the right of parents with respect to their dependents, and the right of each business with respect to its employees, to accept or decline a mandatory vaccination directive by the Nebraska

state government. Declining a mandatory vaccination directive will deliver no implication, penalty, litigation, or punishment by the state to the citizen, parent, or business.” This bill was introduced early in the session, and we had no way of envisioning the subsequent actions of the Biden administration. The bill has been referred to the Health and Human Services Committee, of which I am a member. The language of the bill will likely be updated to reflect mandates from the federal government as well.

As you may have seen, there is talk of calling a special session to deal with this issue. I am in favor of this. However, the realities of a single-house legislature come to bear. Proponents of the mandates will likely filibuster any bill calling for personal choice, religious exemption, or any other proposal limiting the mandates. It takes a vote of 33 senators to end a filibuster. At this point, neither Governor Ricketts or Speaker Mike Hilgers believe there are enough senators willing to vote to overcome any filibusters.

In one of his recent legislative updates, Senator Steve Erdman of Bayard, my colleague and friend, said that “Vaccinations are a private healthcare matter between an individual and his or her physician. No government agency or employer has the right to make decisions about another person’s health. President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate is unconstitutional and violates a person’s liberty, including his or her religious rights, privacy rights, and healthcare rights.” This is the stance I am taking as well, and this is what I will base any votes on, whether during a special session or in the regular session starting in January.

I would welcome any comments, questions or ideas you may have on this or any other issue.  Please feel free to email me at dmurman@leg.ne.gov or call my office at 402-471-2732.

As you know, we have just concluded the special legislative session to draw new boundary lines for the districts of five elected and one appointed group in our state; the House of Representatives, the Legislature, the Nebraska Public Service Commission, the State Board of Education, the University of Nebraska Board of Regents, and the Nebraska Supreme Court. This decennial process is required by both the United States and Nebraska Constitutions on the heels of a U.S. census.

 

“Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made.” That quote, attributed to 19th century German chancellor Otto von Bismarck, is a familiar and perhaps overly used saying. If you watched any of the debate during the special session, you saw how contentious, spirited and even silly some of the speeches on the floor can be. While the sausage quote was probably said tongue-in-cheek, it is one of those phrases we use that has some grains of truth. At the same time, as a member of our unique unicameral system, I heavily rely on the “second house” of our legislature, namely you, the citizens of our state, to keep a watchful eye on the process and help to keep lawmakers accountable. I appreciate all of the emails and phone calls I received from constituents regarding redistricting.

 

In order for there to be equal representation among the populous, each district is required by law to be similar in the number of persons living in it. Most of the redistricting was uncontested. The exceptions were for the three congressional districts and the forty-nine legislative districts.

 

For the 3rd U.S. Congressional District, the final compromise approved by the legislature moves Burt, Otoe, Thurston and Washington counties, as well as part of Polk County, into the district.
As I mentioned in my last update, my ideal was that Legislative District 38 could have remained the same. The final rendering of District 38 after redistricting, however brings Furnas, Harlan and Red Willow counties into the district. While I retain the city of Holdrege, the rest of Phelps County as well as Kearney County will be represented by Senator Halloran in District 33. Southwest Buffalo County will now be assigned to Senator Briese in District 41.

 

Be assured that I will continue to be available to the people who are no longer in the 38th District. I give a hearty welcome to and look forward to serving the new constituents from Harlan, Furnas, and Red Willow counties. I hope to make this as smooth a transition as possible.

 

I would welcome any comments, questions or ideas you may have on this or any other issue. Please feel free to email me at dmurman@leg.ne.gov or call my office at 402-471-2732.

Fall is in the air, harvest is approaching, and Husker football is on TV. Something that hasn’t happened for a while, besides Nebraska-Oklahoma football, is a special legislative session for redistricting.

Every ten years, based on data from the U.S. Census, Nebraska must draw new district maps to elect members of the Nebraska Legislature, the U.S. House of Representatives, the Nebraska Public Service Commission, the University of Nebraska Board of Regents, the State Board of Education and to appoint Judges to the Nebraska Supreme Court. The reason a special session had to be called this year is because of a delay in collection and dissemination of census data caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This special session will be condensed and is expected to wrap up by the end of the month.

As you have no doubt seen in the media, the legislature’s redistricting committee has presented several maps that will be used as a framework for the entire body to debate. Although it is not intended to be, historically this has been a partisan and often contentious process. As you are aware if you watched any of the three hearings (one conducted in each congressional district), most people do not like change. In this case, they are used to the results of the boundaries of their legislative and congressional districts approved during redistricting in 2011, and have grown accustomed to particular voting precincts, city and county divisions, and their current representatives to appointed and elected offices.

My ideal would be that District 38 remain the same as it was three years ago when I ran for this seat, because you are the valued constituents that I was elected to represent. However, since the population is growing in eastern Nebraska and shrinking in the west, I know that it is unrealistic to think that there will not be some changes; both to District 38 as well as likely all the other legislative districts. My efforts during this special session will be to ensure that this will be a fair process that follows the established guidelines and protects, as much as possible, the interests of District 38 and the state as a whole.

I would welcome any comments, questions or ideas you may have on this or any other issue. Please feel free to email me at dmurman@leg.ne.gov or call my office at 402-471-2732.

6/8 Legislative Update
June 8th, 2021

On May 27th, Nebraska’s Unicameral Legislature adjourned this year’s regular session.  The Legislature will reconvene this fall for a special session to deal with redistricting.

 

With the legislative session adjourning, I thought that it would be a good time to review a few of the significant pieces of legislation that passed this year.  They include the following:

 

  • Broadband Availability LB 388 created the Nebraska Broadband Bridge Act, appropriating $20 million annually to fund grants to unserved and underserved areas of the state to provide high speed broadband internet service.

 

  • Casino Gambling  Last November, Nebraska voters legalized all forms of games of chance at licensed horse racetracks at the ballot box.  LB 561 provides the regulatory framework necessary to implement casino gambling.  While sports betting at the racetrack facility is allowed, you cannot bet on high school youth sports or Nebraska college teams when they are playing in state.

 

  • Farm-to-School Program With the goal of increasing the demand for Nebraska food products, this program will provide locally grown and minimally processed food to elementary and secondary school students.  It will also provide students with hands-on learning activities such as farm visits, cooking demonstrations, school gardening and composting programs.

 

  • Taxation of Certain Retirement Income  LB 64 passed on May 20th will phase in an exemption for Social Security income from Nebraska income tax to the extent that it is included in federal adjusted gross income at the following levels:  5% in 2021; 20% in 2022; 30% in 2023; 40% in 2024; and 50% in 2025.  The bill states that it is the intent to reach a 100% exemption by the year 2030.  Another bill, LB 387, exempts military retirement pay for Nebraska income tax.  The goal of both bills is to keep retirees in Nebraska instead of moving to more tax friendly states.

 

  • Telehealth Nebraskans, especially rural citizens, should have greater access to certain telehealth services under LB 400. The bill now allows a patient to provide verbal consent during an initial telehealth visit (with a follow-up written consent within ten days) rather the previous requirement of having to first give written consent before receiving treatment.  LB 487 prohibits medical insurance companies from charging higher rates for using telehealth.  The bill requires medical insurance companies to charge the same rate as comparable treatment in person.

 

  • Controlled Spending and Property Taxes The budget passed by the Legislature this year limits budget growth to 2.4% annually in the state’s next two-year budget.  This allowed an additional $1.7 billion dollars to go to property tax relief over the biennium (including over $433 million each year through the new refundable income tax credit).  A new law was also passed requiring local governments to notify taxpayers whenever their property tax askings are scheduled to increase more than 2%.  While all of this is good, everyone realizes that these measures are only a band-aid and that Nebraska has to completely overhaul its antiquated tax system to create a fair system that takes the burden off property taxpayers.  That will be the primary focus next year.

 

 

I would welcome any comments, questions or ideas you may have on the legislative session, ideas for new legislation or any other issue.  Please feel free to email me at dmurman@leg.ne.gov or call my office at 402-471-2732.

As we read and watch the national news, attacks on some of our basic constitutional rights from both the legislative and executive branches of government in Washington D.C. seem to be introduced with greater frequency and have become more audacious as time goes on.

 

In response to these ever increasing assaults, Legislative Resolution 107 was introduced in the Nebraska Legislature this year by Senator Mike Groene of North Platte.   This resolution was co-sponsored by thirty additional state senators; including myself.

 

In summary, LR 107 makes the following resolutions:

 

  • It reaffirms our oath to maintain and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Nebraska Constitution.

 

  • It recognizes that recent legislative and executive actions have the consequence of limiting states’ rights and sovereignty as well as the rights and liberties of the people.

 

  • It protests plans to take action to violate our Second Amendment rights as well as those rights given by the Constitution of Nebraska to “keep and bear arms for security or defense of self, family, home and others, . . .”[1]

 

  • It protests federal government actions that would violate our First Amendment rights concerning the free exercise of religion as well as comparable rights provided by the Nebraska Constitution with regard to sexuality and the sanctity of life.

 

  • It expresses distress as the prospect of proposed federal legislation that would dictate uniform election rules given the constitutional intent that the election process be left primarily to state legislatures.[2]

 

  • It protests the stated goal of the executive branch to put thirty percent of the land and water in the United States under permanent protection by the year 2030[3] and expresses concern about our rights under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that states, “No person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; . . .”

 

  • It protests potential federal mandates that restrains a person’s right to peaceably assemble or restrict their freedom to travel or conduct commerce by mandating the vaccinations or vaccine passports.

 

Although yet to be advanced out of Legislature’s Executive Board, LR 107 has already faced a concerted attack by some who would like to kill it.  Be assured, as a co-signer of LR 107, I will continue to support efforts to advance this resolution through the legislative process to reaffirm our constitutional rights and protest federal overreach.

 

I would welcome any comments, questions or ideas you may have on this or any other issue.  Please feel free to email me at dmurman@leg.ne.gov or call my office at 402-471-2732.

[1] Nebraska Constitution, Article 1, Section 1.

[2] U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 4.

[3] Executive Order 14008, signed January 27, 2021.

4/9 Update
April 9th, 2021

As a member of the Education Committee of the Unicameral, I have been receiving a huge number of concerns and complaints from citizens regarding the proposed health standards concerning sex education from the Nebraska Department of Education. I appreciate the quick response from Governor Ricketts and from the public in commenting on this matter.

 

Currently there are state statute requirements implemented by the Nebraska accreditation office for math, reading, writing, science, and social studies. If these alleged “health standards“ were to be adopted, they would likely carry the same weight as the requirements for the other five subjects. These draft standards were written by so-called “professionals“ and “experts“ that were given bias training before writing and were advised by OutNebraska and HIV/sexual health education experts and others. In my view they need input from the real experts: the parents and every day common sense Nebraskans.

 

The most concerning areas are under “human growth and development“ The following is a list of concerns but there are many more:

 

  • Kindergartners are taught about cohabitating and same gender families but not traditional families.

 

  • First graders are taught to define “gender identity and gender role stereotypes“.

 

  • Fourth graders are taught to distinguish between sex assigned at birth and gender identity and explain how they may or may not differ.

 

  • Sixth graders would be taught about identifying with multiple sexual identities including bisexual, cisgender, transgender, gay, queer, asexual, and pansexual.

 

It is the primary duty of parents to educate their children, not the state. While schools would not currently be required to adopt these standards, it is important that we let the Department of Education know what we think of the standards. The survey can be found at https://www.education.ne.gov/ and click on the health education standards survey box.

The website of Nebraska Family Alliance (nebraskafamilyalliance.org) has more information and a link to connect to the Department of Education to complete the survey of your ideas. Good information can also be found at the Nebraskans for Founders Values website (nffv.org). Click on minuteman alert #28 at the nffv.org site.  On both of these sites you will find parts of the health standards that are most concerning and who to contact to make your voice heard!  You may subscribe to both of these sites to get up-to-date information on proposals such as this one and bills being presented at the Legislature.

 

No matter what website you reference, it is imperative that you promptly contact or email your representative on the State Board of Education and Commissioner Blomstedt and, preferably in your own words, respectfully tell them you oppose the proposed health standards and why. Also complete the survey. Most likely, it will be important to be persistent because it is probable we will need to contact them again in the early fall before the standards are finalized.

 

While these particular health standards will not be required under state law, school districts are required by the state to have written health standards for health education so, it’s important to contact your local school district as well.

 

I would welcome any comments, questions or ideas you may have.  Please feel free to email me at dmurman@leg.ne.gov or call my office at 402-471-2732.

3/22/21 Update
March 22nd, 2021

As I stated in my last article, I introduced LB390 at the request of the Governor.  LB390 would allow holders of certain health care licenses from other states to more easily receive a license to practice in Nebraska.  It is intended to supplement and not replace existing methods of issuing a credential based on reciprocity or an existing compact.

 

After the start of the pandemic last year, the Governor issued an executive order (Executive Order No. 20-10) to make it easier for certain health care professionals currently licensed in other states to practice in Nebraska.  The executive order has worked well and this bill builds upon that order.

 

The bill as amended will focus on professions who do not already have an expedited reciprocity process in place and excludes certain practices that already have an expedited reciprocity process, which this bill would have made redundant.  Physicians, which have an existing compact, are excluded.  It also removes the residency requirement for the issuance of a temporary credential to a spouse of an active duty member of the United States Armed Forces assigned to duty in Nebraska.

 

A person who has a current and valid credential in another state (for at least one year) may apply for an equivalent credential after submitting the required documentation, fees, and passing a criminal background investigation (if required).  The relevant board will determine the appropriate credential and the Department of Health and Human Services determines the documentation required.  The applicant’s current credential cannot have been subject to revocation, other disciplinary action, or other conduct which would have disqualified them in Nebraska.  If they meet all of the requirements, health care professions may obtain a Nebraska license before moving here.  However, an applicant who obtains a credential pursuant to the provisions of this bill must establish residency in Nebraska within 180 days after issuance of the credential.

 

Eight other states (including our neighboring states of Iowa and Missouri) have similar laws now.  A number of other states (including our neighbors of South Dakota and Wyoming) are pursuing similar legislation this year.

 

While Nebraska currently has various compacts with other states that allow certain professions to qualify to practice in each other’s states, a number of large states (e.g. California, Massachusetts, New York) don’t belong to any compacts but produce a large number of health care professionals.  This bill will provide a vehicle for individuals from many states (including those mentioned) to come to practice in Nebraska.

 

Most importantly, I believe that LB 390 will help address the health care shortages we have (especially in rural Nebraska) by having an expanded pool of health care talent to draw from.

 

I would welcome any comments, questions or ideas you may have.  Please feel free to email me at dmurman@leg.ne.gov or call my office at 402-471-2732.

2/19/21 Update
February 19th, 2021

The Nebraska Legislature has been in session for around a month now, and I thought it would be a good time to let you know of the bills I have introduced this year.  These bills are briefly summarized below.

 

LB 210 – This bill would allow home school students to participate in extracurricular activities offered by public schools in the district in which they live and likely pay property taxes or rent, without requiring class enrollment.

 

LB 211 – The bill that I introduced is a modified version of a similar bill I introduced last session. It would remove reflexologists from the massage therapy license and create a separate registry for them. Reflexologists should not have to participate in a full massage therapy program just to practice reflexology.  Reflexologists would need to complete a certification examination to be on the registry to practice reflexology.

 

LB 390 – I have introduced this bill at the request of the Governor. It would allow holders of certain health care licenses from other states to more easily receive a license to practice in Nebraska.  Nearly a year ago, after the start of the pandemic, the Governor issued an executive order to make it easier for certain health care professionals currently licensed in other states to practice in Nebraska.  The executive order has worked well and this bill builds upon that order.  It will help address the health care shortages we have (especially in rural Nebraska) by having an expanded pool of health care talent to draw from.

 

LB 418 – The Solemn Covenant of States to Award Prizes for Curing Diseases compact would, once six states have adopted the compact, award cash prizes for successful cures of various diseases.  This is an innovative approach to incentivize the private sector to find cures for many of the diseases that afflict us today.

 

LB 583 – This bill essentially requires that prescribers utilize electronic prescription technology to prescribe controlled substances beginning January 1, 2022.   As many of you are aware, the opioid crisis in Nebraska (as well as all across this country) has been a real problem adversely affecting many individuals and families.  As a result, more than half of the states are requiring or will soon require the utilization of electronic prescriptions for controlled substances.  This is an essential step in curtailing abuse of overprescribing opioids and keeping individuals from “shopping” for doctors who would readily write a script.  Additionally this bill would bring Nebraska in line with federal law which will mandate the use of e-prescribing for Medicare Part D by January of 2022.

 

LB 670 – The Department of Transportation has a program to allow a sign near the site of a fatal accident memorializing the victim along with a safety message (e.g. “Don’t Text and Drive”).  This bill would give the family the option of adding an emblem of belief to the sign such as a cross or Star of David.

 

LB 671 – The intent of this bill is to authorize funding for the next two years for the AgrAbility program at the University of Nebraska Extension for needs not covered by the USDA.  The program would help fund needed supports such as lifts or modified equipment that would enable physically challenged farmers and ranchers to keep working.

 

LB 672 – This bill would provide better define the sales tax exemption for agricultural machinery and equipment and specifically include head haulers, seed tender trailers, livestock fans, and livestock curtains.

 

LB 673 – The purpose of this bill is to adopt the Education Behavioral Awareness and Support Act.  This Act intends to give each school district the opportunity to provide behavioral awareness and intervention training for teachers and other school employees to safely manage inappropriate behavior without allowing that behavior to escalate and to provide legal protection for teachers who take reasonable and appropriate measures.  Every student in Nebraska deserves a safe school to foster a better learning environment.  Funding for the training would come from the Nebraska Lottery.

 

Our session schedule has already been altered this year. Instead of splitting up the day between floor debate in the morning and committee hearings in the afternoon like in years past, we are having committee hearings in the morning and afternoon then will switch to all day debate next month.

 

I would welcome any comments or ideas you may have.  If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to email me at dmurman@leg.ne.gov or call my office at 402-471-2732.

 

10/30 Update
October 30th, 2020

With the election less than two weeks away, I again urge the citizens of District 38 to vote.  This is not only a civic duty but also a privilege that we have in this free country.

 

You may vote at your designated polling place on Tuesday, November 3rd.  Polls open at 8 a.m. (7a.m MT) and close at 8 p.m. (7p.m. MT).  If you have requested an early voting ballot or live in a county that mails ballots to all registered voters, your ballot needs to be received (by mail or delivered in person) by your county election official’s office by 8 p.m. on Election Day.  Early voting ballots must be received by mail or be returned during regular business hours, or deposited in the drop box located outside the office — every county has at least one.

 

As I previously wrote, you need to take a very close look at all of the candidates, both federal and local.  Good websites to find information on the federal elections are:  ballotpedia.org and FRCAction.org.  Some of the major issues you may wish to consider include:

  • The Economy – which candidate’s experience and policies would help the country (and state) to prosper? What has been their experience with job creation and lowering the unemployment rate?

 

  • Agriculture – this is a key issue for our state and district. Which candidate has supported agricultural interests?  One way to find candidates who are friendly to agriculture and will most likely vote for property tax relief is to “google” NEFB-PAC and find the September 10, 2020 Friends of Agriculture endorsements.

 

  • Sanctity of Human Life, Marriage, and Religious Freedom – for many citizens, these are fundamental and critical issues and you should examine the published platforms of each party as well as the candidate’s position on these issues. There are glaring differences.

 

  • Taxes – What is the candidate’s experience and position with regard to lowering or raising taxes? Again, the differences are clear.

 

  • Education – Where do the candidates stand on school choice and local control? Do they advocate opening up schools for our children to learn or do they propose locking them down?

 

  • Law Enforcement; Courts – Who has supported our men and women in law enforcement during these troubling times to protect our communities and the rights of all Americans? Who would appoint judges to uphold and not rewrite our laws and Constitution?

 

While there are many other issues for you to also consider, the choices this year are in stark contrast to each other.  Upon examining the issues, you need to decide what candidates are best not only for you; but also for your families, your community and the future prosperity, freedom and security of our country.

Please vote!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sen. Dave Murman

District 38
Room 1522
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
(402) 471-2732
Email: dmurman@leg.ne.gov
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