The official site of the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

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

As the chair of the Education Committee in the Nebraska Legislature, I’ve always been a major believer in public schools. I believe firmly that every K-12-aged child in our state deserves access to a well-funded, competitive, safe education. I also believe that every family has unique needs and values in which a one-size-fits-all approach may not always be best. Because of this, I also support increasing school choice in the State of Nebraska.

Before last year’s historic legislative session, Nebraska was one of only two states that did not have any form of a school choice program. As a state, the majority of the Legislature knew we could do better and become more competitive. The idea that 48 other states were ahead of us in the race was simply unacceptable. So last year Nebraska finally took a step in the right direction and passed LB 753, the Opportunity Scholarships Act. Compared to most other school choice programs across the country, LB 753 is generally quite humble. It allows a tax credit scholarship to be given out to students who wish to attend private schools with prioritization given to low-income students, exceptional needs, students who have experienced bullying, foster children, military families, and children who have been denied option enrollment.

Critics of the Opportunity Scholarships have been quick to sow misconceptions across the State in hopes of repealing LB 753. Many have argued this is a way of defunding public education. The reality is that in the same year Nebraska passed LB 753, Nebraska passed a historic $300 million increase and a $1 billion Education Future Fund for our public schools. In total Nebraska spends nearly $5 billion in K-12 education. Compare this to the $25 million spent through LB 753 and it’s easy to see that their claim is wrong. Not only have we not defunded public education, but we’ve funded it more than ever.

Supporting school choice does not mean opposing public education. In reality, school choice is all about putting parents back in charge. If a parent wants a child to receive a public education, Nebraska should be there to do that. If a parent wants a child to receive a private education, Nebraska should be there to do that. If a parent wants to homeschool their child, Nebraska also should be there to do that. Every family is different- different values, different religions, and different needs. A system with no school choice makes it difficult to cater to every single family.

Some will say that school choice has always existed- that those who wish to send their children to private schools can already do so. This comes from a place of privilege. Private schooling can be incredibly costly. Many Nebraskans and Americans alike are living from paycheck to paycheck. The reality is that currently, private schools are only a viable option for the portion of Nebraska that can afford them. When it comes to getting a child a top-tier K-12 education, income shouldn’t be the deciding factor. Nebraska Opportunity Scholarships give all families, as the name implies, an opportunity.

Recently I had the privilege to join the Governor, various leaders of Nebraska religious groups, and my fellow Senators in the tradition of declaring January 16th as Religious Freedom Day. Religious Freedom Day was first signed by proclamation by President Bush in 1993 and has continued to be proclaimed by every President each year after. President Bush chose January 16th as the date based on Thomas Jefferson’s draft bill for Establishing Religious Freedom in Virginia.

In John Winthrop’s famous 1630 City on a Hill sermon, he described his goal for the New England colony to “hold conformity with the rest of His world, being delighted to show forth the glory of His wisdom in the variety and difference of the creatures”. In short, the goal of the colonists who would soon create the model of our nation was seeking freedom to practice their religion in their own way. Their goal was noble. A government was telling them how to practice their religion their way, so they packed up and left, creating their own community to freely worship and pray to God in a way they thought was the best fit.

Most are familiar with our Constitution’s First Amendment which includes the right to free exercise of religion but Nebraska’s State Constitution also includes protections of our religious freedom. Article I-4 of the State Constitution reads, “All persons have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences”. Both our nation and our state recognize our long-held and treasured right of religious liberty.

Our founding fathers were wise to recognize religious liberty as the bedrock of our Republic. To some, their idea of religious freedom seemed radical- but these ideas went on to become the blueprint of our Constitutional rights. Religious Freedom Day serves as a reminder to Nebraskans that no Government has the right to demand we pray or worship in a certain way, instead, these privileges are given to us by God. January 16th is an opportunity for Nebraskans and Americans to celebrate and give thanks to God for our great freedom.

Across the state of Nebraska, the colors of the Christmas lights are gleaming across the roads. On our radios, carols of reindeer and snowmen play spreading the joy of Christmas. In our homes, the trees are being set up adorned with ornaments and twinkling lights filled with the scent of cookies coming out of the oven. Our Children are anxious to look under the trees to see presents wrapped in bright colors and ribbons. The gifts of the Christmas season do much to spread joy into the hearts of old and young alike. But all of these gifts, no matter how fun or special, compare to the greatest gift of all- our Savior Jesus Christ.

Our world is certainly full of sin and brokenness but the true meaning of Christmas gives us a reason to celebrate. The Gospel of John tells us that God did not send his Son to condemn the world, but to save it. Christ came to us as a baby in the humblest of beginnings. After traveling nearly a hundred miles, there was no room for the expecting Mary and Joseph at the inn. With no other option but a manger, God chose the most meager of all cradles to be the throne for the King of Kings. Baby Jesus’ birth was celebrated by a heavenly choir of angels and humble shepherds alike. They celebrated with great cause because the newly born babe would grow to become the savior of all. Jesus Christ was tried, crucified, and died redeeming all believers of their sins. He arose from the dead and ascended into heaven, but God’s story is not finished. He will come again to judge the living and the dead bringing redemption to our world.

The true meaning of Christmas is more joyful, exciting, and meaningful than any present laid under the tree. All of our other traditions that so many families enjoy are wonderful, but they are only signs and symbols of our great holiday. The presents under the tree are of this world, and when our time is over, we can’t take them with us. Instead, this Christmas Jesus Christ offers his followers an everlasting gift of priceless value- everlasting life.

Across the State of Nebraska, you may see the gathering of signatures to put the EPIC tax on the ballot to be decided on by the voters. The EPIC tax, or eliminate property, income, and corporate tax, provides an opportunity to completely transform Nebraska’s complicated, outdated, and broken tax system- a goal I certainly support.

For years Nebraskans have told me over and over again that rising property taxes are a top issue. And over and over again, the Nebraska Legislature passes property tax relief which only slightly decreases the problem. I have brought legislation and voted in favor of property tax relief, but the relief only slows down the growing property tax burden with Nebraskans still paying more and more even when we pass so called “relief”. By placing the EPIC tax on the ballot, Nebraska’s second house- the voters, have a chance to truly see some major relief.

In some cases, I have heard of my constituents buying or renting land in Kansas, a state with significantly lower property taxes. Currently, the Tax Foundation ranks Nebraska as having a worse property tax burden than every single one of our neighboring states and the 40th worst-ranking state overall. With our current tax system, we risk losing far too many farmers, businesses, and homeowners to nearby states that offer far more accommodating rates. By passing the EPIC option, we have the opportunity to stay competitive and keep people who love Nebraska in their home state.

Some have voiced concerns that by removing the property, income, and corporate tax, and adding a consumption tax low-income families can be harmed. Something worth considering is that the consumption tax only applies to new products. Used cars, appliances, and even homes would be completely consumption tax-free with groceries also being exempt. Furthermore, when a landlord or apartment owner faces skyrocketing property taxes, that increased cost is often directly reflected in increased rental costs for the tenant. The reality is the EPIC option has the opportunity to grow the entire Nebraska economy while the current tax code picks winners and losers.

Ultimately, the EPIC tax option is a win for farmers, homeowners, and middle-class families. If you see an EPIC tax ballot, sign it and consider volunteering to collect signatures or donating to the cause at

During the pandemic, school closures and the transition to online or remote learning were no doubt challenges for our Nebraska students, teachers, and parents. As students logged on to their Zoom calls and worked on their online schooling, parents were often sitting side-by-side to work on their own online remote work. Parents were able to see and hear what their kids were learning with far more transparency than before. In many cases, this experience led to an appreciation for our strong schools, but in other cases, parents raised valid criticisms over various curriculum and school policies. Because of this, I am approaching the upcoming legislative session with a key goal in mind: empowering parents.

We must ensure transparency for parents, whether it comes to the curriculum, athletic policies, their student’s physical and mental health, and books. School officials in Nebraska have on video claimed “every time that we are adopting new curriculum and materials” they “really look at the diversity, equity, and inclusion perspective”, while others have worked to transform students into “change agents”. But Nebraskan parents don’t always want their kids going to schools to become ideological activists- they want their kids to learn to read and write.

My office has obtained examples from rightfully concerned parents about surveys given to their students with questions that ask about their sexuality, sexual partners, and even their family’s dating habits and sexual activity. Parents are right to find this concerning and objectionable. They deserve the right to know what is being asked and collected of their children and most importantly, the right to decline.

Finally, parents deserve the right to examine and understand books and materials that are offered or assigned to their children. Parents across the country have become aware of books such as “Gender Queer” and “This Book is Gay”. Not only do these books violate validly held religious convictions by families across Nebraska, but in many cases include graphic depictions of sexuality that could only be described as pornography. My goal is that in every school a parental review process can be established for parents to be able to report a book to ensure the books that schools are assigning are in line with Nebraska family values.

This upcoming legislative session, I look forward to discussing with Nebraska parents and educators alike to bring legislation forward to protect and ensure these parental rights. We can and always will do more to support our schools and that starts with empowering parents.

The Nebraska Legislature is a unique institution, given its status as the country’s only unicameral and nonpartisan legislature. While there are certainly drawbacks to a unicameral system, an added benefit of our legislature gives every member a fairly equal set of responsibilities. With the addition of term limits, Nebraska has largely prevented a deep entrenchment of established power in the Nebraska legislature for some time. Our citizen legislature enables those with criticisms of the status quo to bring the message of their constituents to bear.

Currently, there is no more important place for change than our education system. That’s why I am running to chair the Nebraska Legislature’s Education Committee.

Including the Department of Education, the University of Nebraska, and the State College system, education spending for the last two years accounted for 35.9% of all state spending![1] As many of you are aware, property taxes account for the largest source of funding for our education system. Working with the Revenue Committee to reduce this burden on Nebraskans will be a mainstay of my efforts as your state senator.

We also must make take bold action to address the teacher shortage, combat critical race theory and comprehensive sex education, work with Governor-Elect Pillen as he endeavors to reform TEEOSA (the state school funding formula), and establish a parent’s bill of rights. Nebraska can no longer afford to lag behind states like Florida and Texas in enacting policy changes to improve the lives of its citizens. We must preserve the tradition of Nebraska schools leading the nation in test scores while reducing the bloat of big government.


This past week, the Bovee wildfire at Nebraska National Forest near Halsey, Nebraska led to the death of Purdum volunteer fire department assistant chief Mike Moody. It also prompted the evacuation of the entire town of Halsey. The fire was close to being controlled by last Monday after tireless work from some of Nebraska’s finest first responders who saved several farmsteads in the fire’s path. As of last Thursday morning, reports estimate the fire was 94% contained after burning nearly 20,000 acres of land.

The Eppley Lodge, the historic Scott Lookout Tower, and all of the cabins at the state 4-H camp fell victim to this tragedy. This was the first 4-H campsite in Nebraska, dedicated in 1962, and recorded approximately 2,500 visiting youths annually, and more than 30,000 different youths over the years.

I personally had the pleasure of attending the Halsey 4-H camp twice in the 1960s. The first time as a young 4-Her, I was super impressed by all of the tall pine trees and beautiful natural wooden cabins, and the huge Eppley Lodge. Being from the irrigated flatlands of Nebraska, I didn’t realize a campground with so many pine trees could even exist in Nebraska, or that it is the largest hand-planted forest in the Western Hemisphere. I was also impressed by the Scott Lookout Tower, from which one could look over the hills of pine trees and watch for smoke.

The next time I attended was for a 4-H leadership camp in my teenage years. Believe it or not, a fire had burned through the camp the year before, leaving only cement foundation pads where many of the cabins once stood. Huge tents were erected on the pads but fortunately, the Eppley Lodge was still there in all its glory. I was blessed to take part in planting pine fingerlings in the hills around the camp to replace some of the trees that burned. It is surreal to think some of these trees could be the ones that burned 50-some years later in the Bovee fire. Unfortunately, this time the beautiful Eppley Lodge and Scott Lookout Tower are also gone. I am telling this story in the hopes that Nebraskans will pull together to replant portions of the Nebraska National Forest that were lost in the most recent Bovee fire. I am also hopeful that Nebraska extension and 4-H leaders from all over the state can rebuild the camp even better than before so that future generations of 4-Hers can enjoy the same privileges that I and so many others have enjoyed.

I hope everyone in District 38 will join me in praying for the family and friends of Mike Moody, for the recovery of the Nebraska National Forest, for those that lost homes or property, and for all the people who have courageously battled this fire.

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

Pink Postcards

In 2021, the Nebraska Legislature adopted LB 644, titled the Property Tax Request Act and more commonly dubbed the Truth in Taxation Act. The bill requires counties to inform their citizens of an increase in property tax from the year prior of 2.0% or more. The legislation also requires the counties to hold a public hearing where citizens can ask questions, express discontent, or air grievances about any increases.

Over the last few weeks, my office has been contacted by constituents asking questions about this process. Truth in Taxation was a major step toward transparency for Nebraska property owners and accountability for local taxing entities. As is common with any new law, there are pieces of LB 644 that need to be retooled and worked out. But overall, this law is a positive first step and guarantees citizens will be heard. If a subdivision raises property taxes by more than 2%, a notice of a public hearing will be mailed to the taxpayer. The hearing will take place in one location per county.

Unfortunately, a lot more pink paper was used in the first year of the Truth in Taxation law than was expected. Why is that? Put simply, inflation. The federal government has irresponsibly decided to deficit spend and then print money to make up for it. In Legislative District 38, several counties did not raise their property tax levy but your property taxes still rose. Recent reports from Washington D.C. indicate that the consumer price index (CPI), a metric that details the overall cost of goods and services, is up about 9% from 2021. You can see it when you go to fuel up at the pump, go to buy groceries, or go to the hardware store to purchase a 2×4. Even if you have made no renovations or upgrades to your property, inflation is still raising the value of your home. As your valuation increases, the amount of taxes you will owe will increase unless the levy decreases in a corresponding amount. Additionally, counties still have the same resource demands and needs for essential services, with inflation driving up these costs as well.

Truth in Taxation has revealed several effects that were already obvious to so many Nebraskans about our unfair property tax system. Showing transparency in our taxation process is putting pressure on Lincoln to rid Nebraskans of these often-hidden property tax increases. With the help of my colleagues, I hope to implement a broader-based or more consumption-based tax system.

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

Over the last few years, communities across Legislative District 38 (LD-38) have been recognized by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development and the Nebraska Diplomats for achievements in growth, modernization, business expansion, retention, leadership, agri-business, and preparation to succeed in competitive environments. Today, I’m recognizing some of those achievements and putting the great success across our district into context.

Last month, Governor Ricketts presented Holdrege with the Nebraska Diplomats’ “Community of the Year” award. Holdrege was recognized by the Nebraska Diplomats for being on a path forward for economic development, including a $100 million investment in Becton Dickinson’s Holdrege plant, an $8 million expansion by Allmand Inc./Briggs & Stratton, a new Cobblestone Hotel, and a $2 million dollar expansion of the VA Clinic in Holdrege.

Additionally, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development has two different designations for communities that are working to improve their status in leadership and economic development. I am pleased to report that as of September 2022, five LD-38 communities are on the Leadership Certified Community (LCC) list, making up over 15% of the entire list of communities. Blue Hill, Cambridge, Franklin, Red Cloud, and Superior have all demonstrated a strong sense of community, fostered collaboration between community leaders and organizations, and developed a strategic plan for solving community needs.

The Economic Development Certified Communities (EDCC) program by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development has recognized two communities in LD-38. McCook and Holdrege have been recognized for being equipped for growth and ready to meet the needs of employees and firms that need new locations.
None of this would be possible without the efforts of several leaders working on ways to best serve their neighbors. All of these achievements highlight a will to succeed and tremendous optimism across LD-38. Congratulations to all of these communities for their awards and designations.

A brief note to those of you in District 38 who have been affected by the shortage of Driver’s License Examiners at local courthouses. I have been assured by the State Department of Motor Vehicles that there are no plans to close any DMV offices in rural counties. The eastern edge of the district has been especially affected, because examiners are being pulled to staff larger counties, such as Lancaster. I would advise calling ahead before you make a long trip to be sure your local DMV office is staffed. With the exception of those turning 21, you are allowed to renew your driver’s license up to 90 days before your birthday, and you may do so at any DMV office in the state, regardless of your county of residence. There are also online options available. I will continue advocating to keep DMV offices open and staffed.

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

Constitution Day 2022
September 9th, 2022


During my time in the Nebraska Unicameral, I’ve had the opportunity to serve on the Education Committee. During this time, I’ve strongly advocated for teaching American exceptionalism in the classroom, so that students may foster an appreciation for the God-given freedoms our country protects and defends. This is largely thanks to our founders’ foresight when drafting the United States Constitution, broadly considered to be the world’s longest surviving governing document.

On Saturday, September 17th, we have an opportunity to celebrate that achievement on Constitution Day. It serves as a reminder to all of us, as citizens, to recognize the value of the American experiment, and to celebrate the success of free people who have inalienable rights and liberties that come from God.

Including the bill of rights, our Constitution has been amended 27 times. The first amendment, which came in 1791, protects our right to freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and the right to peacefully assemble and petition. The last time the United States amended the Constitution was 1992. The 27th amendment limited the ability for members of congress to receive a pay raise until an election of representatives shall have intervened.

In America, we have always been able to find consensus while sticking to our principles. Our Constitution embodies this. Therefore, our United States and our founding document have stood the test of time. This Constitution Day, let’s come together to be better citizens by celebrating all of the great freedoms our country has to offer. Support teaching about the constitution in our schools. Give time and resources to public service. Support our military and law enforcement. Most important of all, vote in the upcoming election. These are just a few of the ways we can defend the freedoms as enumerated in our U.S. Constitution.

God bless,
Senator Dave Murman

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

Sen. Dave Murman

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

You are currently browsing the archives for the Column category.

Committee Assignments
    Committee On Committees
    Health and Human Services
Search Current Bills
Search Laws
Live Video Streaming
View video streamView live streams of floor activity and public hearings

Streaming video provided by Nebraska Public Media

Find Your Senator