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Dave Murman

Sen. Dave Murman

District 38

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Governor Ricketts compared the original health care directives imposed on the economy of Nebraska to driving 5mph down Interstate 80. As some of the directives are eased, I hope we can immediately accelerate to 60 mph and then completely to 75 mph. We have to get the economy moving again without taking unnecessary risks.


Physical distancing, reduced capacities, face masks, temperature checks, and other common sense precautions must be used wherever practical at least on a temporary basis. We must focus protection on close working environments such as packing plants. Also medical and long term care facilities must be protected. There is considerable risk of not opening up as quickly as possible. We could see permanent damage to our economy and even our American way of life.


As the legislature went into a temporary recess in March, several costly issues were left unaddressed. By far the most important grassroots issue being relief from the economic burden of Nebraska’s repressive property taxes. The bill on the table to do so was LB 1106. The bill, introduced by Speaker Scheer, would add approximately 100 million per year for state aid to public schools, thus lowering local property taxes by the same amount reaching a total of 300 million by the third and final year of its implementation.


A second issue was LB 720, otherwise known as the ImagiNE Act. The ImagiNE Act is the most important issue of the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and the corporate business lobby. It would replace the soon to sunset Nebraska Advantage Act. By the third year of its implementation, the ImagiNE Act is estimated to add an additional 50 million to the Revenue Department’s already forecasted 180 million loss of the existing Advantage Act obligations.


The Legislature was also presented with a demand from Nebraska voters. They voted to mandate that the state fund medicaid expansion. The Department of Health and Human Services has estimated medicaid expansion could add $62 million to the state budget by 2023.


We also need to address prison overcrowding as it has become an urgent issue in Nebraska. The Department of Corrections has proposed leasing a 1,200 -1,800 bed facility at a cost of approximately $70 million per year.


All of this new state spending is expected to be paid for by a projected 4.5% annual historic revenue growth which amounts to approximately $225 million per year.


In addition to all of this spending, the Chancellor of the University of Nebraska Medical Center has requested that the Legislature appropriate $50 million per year over six years. This would be used to attract a $1.5 billion federal investment in a Department of Defense pilot program that would build a hospital in Omaha. The hospital would provide thousands of jobs and increase tax revenues to the state by about $50 million.


None of the above will be done without getting our economy back to near normal quickly. A poor economy hurts everyone, especially those near the bottom of the socio-economic ladder. As I have said before, the cure cannot be worse than the disease. We must get back to 75 mph.

Sen. Dave Murman

District 38
Room 1107
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
(402) 471-2732
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