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Dave Murman

Sen. Dave Murman

District 38

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The inaugural episode of the “Across the Aisle” podcast from the National Conference of State Legislatures chronicles the bipartisan makeup of the team I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro with in 2021.

Become a Legislative Page
September 26th, 2022

Are you a Nebraska college student interested in becoming a page for the Nebraska Legislature for the 2023 Legislative session? Details from the Clerk of the Legislature’s office are at the following link:

The deadline to apply is 5:00 PM on Friday, October 7th. Please have reference requests to my office by Wednesday, October 5th.

For reference consideration, please submit a letter of request to my office at:

Senator Dave Murman
PO Box 94604
Lincoln NE 68509-4604

From the office of Governor Pete Ricketts:

LINCOLN – Wednesday morning, Governor Pete Ricketts hosted a press conference at the State Capitol to raise awareness of the new 988 phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. After two years of planning and preparation, the new three-digit suicide prevention line—988—will go live on Saturday, July 16. Callers will be able to use 988 around the clock to make a direct connection to trained crisis counselors. All calls are free and confidential.

“The new 988 phone number provides a 24/7 connection to trained, compassionate counselors for anyone experiencing thoughts of suicide,” said Gov. Ricketts. “It’s imperative that we look after the mental well-being of our loved ones and provide immediate help to those who need it. The State has been proactive in ensuring that Nebraskans have access to mental health resources. As we launch 988, we’re also adding capacity to mental health facilities and investing in the education of additional behavioral healthcare providers.”

In 2020, Congress designated the new 988 dialing code to operate through the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the lead federal agency, in partnership with the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Veterans Affairs and Vibrant Health.

The Lifeline, 988, is an easy-to-remember number that provides direct access to compassionate care and support for anyone experiencing mental health-related distress or thoughts of suicide. 988 will provide easier access to the Lifeline network and related crisis resources, which are distinct from 911 (where the focus is on dispatching Emergency Medical Services, fire, and police as needed). Callers to 911 talk with a person who answers the phone. With 988, the caller experience will be different. Lifeline centers utilize the Vibrant Emotional Health Lifeline technology, which means callers to 988 will hear some automated prompts before hearing a counselor’s voice.

Moving to 988 does not mean the existing suicide prevention lifeline (1-800-273-8255) will go away. After July 16, 2022, both it and 988 will get callers to the same services.

“We know that it can be hard to start conversations about mental health, but they are very important conversations and could save a life,” said Sheri Dawson, Behavioral Health Director for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. “It is never too early to talk about mental health, and we don’t want the conversation to be too late. Use your eyes, ears, heart, and mind to reach out and offer help if someone is suicidal. If you’re unsure if someone is thinking of ending his/her life, ask, or now you can say, ‘let’s call 988 and talk to someone.’ People can also dial 988 if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.”

Director Dawson thanked the State’s partners who planned tirelessly for the implementation of 988 and play an active role in behavioral healthcare across Nebraska.

“I want to thank the amazing Nebraskans who collaborated in planning for 988 implementations,” she said. “We are all grateful to those partners who provide behavioral health and 24/7 crisis services every day to individuals with behavioral health challenges. I want to thank our Regions, providers, and behavioral health system partners for their continued partnership in serving Nebraskans. We asked for 988 stakeholder recommendations and we listened to stakeholder feedback, our 988 workgroups, and 988 Advisory Committee. Nebraska is fortunate to have such dedicated partners.”

Need to talk or get immediate help in a crisis? Help is available. If you or a loved one need assistance, please reach out to:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for English, 1-888-628-9454 para Español
As of July 16, 2022, simply dial 988
Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Hotline: In Nebraska, dial 211
Your faith-based leader, your healthcare professional, or student health center on campus
Nebraska Family Helpline – Any question, any time: (888) 866-8660
Rural Response Hotline: (800) 464-0258
Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 (oprime dos para Español) or text TalkWithUs to 66746
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522
National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4AChild (1-800-422-4453)
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)

Governor Ricketts signed into law Senator Murman’s LB 1261 on Tuesday, April 19th. LB 1261 expands the Nebraska Advantage Rural Development Act. The goal of this bill is to promote investment in Nebraska agriculture through livestock modernization and expansion. Part of this bill was Senator Joni Albrecht’s LB 596. This creates the Nebraska Higher Blend Tax Credit Act (allowing for higher ethanol blends in gasoline).

Unsung Heroes

Over 40,000 acres. At this writing, that is the amount of pasture and cropland that has burned in Gosper and Furnas counties, as well as just south of the border in northern Kansas. At least eight families have lost their homes. Dozens of other structures were also destroyed. Firefighting equipment was lost as well. In addition to this are all of the livestock, the center pivots and other irrigation equipment, the hay bales, and the miles of fence line. All destroyed by a merciless and deadly force.

On the frontlines of the battle with this force are the 40 fire departments from across the state that are fighting the Road 739 Fire near Elwood, and the 15 departments, including four departments from District 38, who helped fight the Burr Oak, KS fire. Most of these departments are staffed solely by volunteers. These men and women do their work in these departments in addition to the full-time jobs they already have.

Most of the time, these firefighters, EMT’s and paramedics go home to their loved ones at the end of the day. Sadly though, there have been casualties in the Road 739 Fire. Chief Darren Krull of the Elwood Volunteer Fire Department was killed in a head on collision with a water truck on April 8th. Seriously injured was Phelps County Emergency Manager Justin Norris. Roadway conditions at the time of the crash were at zero-visibility because of the fire. Thankfully, the driver of the water truck was not injured. Words of comfort never seem to be enough in these instances, but my staff and I are praying for these families.

This gives us the opportunity to remember and thank all of the unsung heroes in our daily lives. They often risk their lives for us, whether it be a car accident, farm accident, medical crisis or other emergency. The tragic loss of Chief Krull exemplifies the selfless service that makes our state great.

Not all of us can be a firefighter or emergency medical volunteer, but we all owe a debt of gratitude to many others. The volunteers who clean the snow off the church sidewalk and make sure the grass is mowed. The linemen who are out in all kinds of weather to assure that we can turn the lights on. The ladies who bake cookies for the local blood drive. All those who organize, pick up, clean, stock, beautify and improve our lives; a good portion of them behind the scenes and under the radar.

Please take the opportunity today to thank the daily heroes you come in contact with, both paid and volunteer. Tip a little more to your server or paper carrier today. Put your cart in the cart corral. Go out of your way to thank a worker who has been on the front lines during the pandemic. ATTEND and SUPPORT the pancake feeds, pork barbecues and other fundraisers hosted by your local volunteer fire departments and first responders.

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.

As this update goes to press, the Nebraska Legislature will have completed fifty-seven days of this year’s sixty-day legislative session. Much of the focus and debate this week has been on taxes.

The road to tax relief this year has been difficult and circuitous as every effort has been challenged and delayed through the filibuster process. This results in eight hours of debate on General File and four hours of debate on Select File and the need to garner at least 33 votes at each stage for the bill to be voted on.

Because of this environment, it became necessary to combine separate tax relief bills into one tax relief package that was amended into LB 873. In developing this package, an effort was made to have an equal balance between income tax relief and property tax relief. This bill, which was on Select File, was debated this week and after a four-hour filibuster, finally advanced to Final Reading. Yesterday, the Legislature passed LB 873 and the bill has been sent to Governor Ricketts.

LB 873, as amended, would make the following tax cuts:
• Individual Income Tax Credit for Property Taxes Paid: Taxpayers would have the opportunity to receive a credit on their income tax for a portion of their property taxes paid to community colleges. Additionally, the current refundable state income tax for a portion of property taxes paid for K-12 education will continue to be funded at a larger level.

• Social Security Income: This bill would phase out state income taxation of Social Security income in four annual steps. It would make Nebraska more attractive to seniors that wish to retire in this state and would bring our state in line with other states that offer a similar exemption.

• Corporate Income Tax: The top corporate income tax rate would also be cut to attract new businesses to Nebraska.

• Income Tax: The top individual income tax rate will gradually be cut in several steps. This will keep Nebraska competitive with neighboring states.

In another bill passed earlier this year, the Legislature approved a reduction of Nebraska’s inheritance tax. This bill has been signed by the governor.

This year’s LB 873 represents one of the largest tax cut packages passed by the Legislature. While this bill is not perfect, property tax reduction has been and continues to be one of my primary objectives as a state senator and I will continue to pursue this goal.

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.

News Release


Kate Heltzel
Nebraska Legislature
Unicameral Information Office
(402) 471-2788

 Sen. Dave Murman invites students to youth legislature

High school students are invited to take on the role of state senators at the Unicameral Youth Legislature June 12-15. At the State Capitol, student senators will sponsor bills, conduct committee hearings, debate legislation and discover the unique process of the nation’s only unicameral.

The Unicameral Youth Legislature gives behind-the-scenes access to students who have an interest in public office, government, politics, law, public policy, debate or public speaking. Students will learn about the inner workings of the Legislature directly from senators and staff.

“I think it is crucial for our young people to realize that laws are made by people, not some distant, disembodied entity we call government,” says Senator Murman. “We need good people at all levels of government, and getting students excited about a civic education is very important.”

The Office of the Clerk of the Nebraska Legislature coordinates the Unicameral Youth Legislature. The University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Extension 4-H Youth Development Office coordinates housing and recreational activities as part of the Big Red Summer Camps program.

To learn more about the program, go to or call (402) 471-2788. The deadline for registration is May 20.

March 25, 2022

One of the committees that I’ve served on for the past four years is the Education Committee. This legislative session the Education Committee has heard a multitude of bills addressing a wide variety of topics. This week I would like to discuss several bills that I anticipate will be debated in the remaining days of this year’s session.

LB 1218 has been designated as priority bill by the Education Committee and has been advanced by a unanimous vote to General File. This bill (with the committee amendment) is intended to address Nebraska’s teacher workforce shortage by accomplishing the following:

• Passing a statewide examination related to basic skills competency as an entrance requirement to a post-secondary education institution would no longer be required. Testimony showed that this test had become a barrier for many students, has not been linked to teaching effectiveness, and was an unnecessary expense for students.

• The State Board of Education requires applicants to pass an exam (the “Praxis” core exam) before receiving an entry-level teaching certificate or permit. This bill would allow teaching candidates to retake portions of the exam if they need to or to demonstrate their proficiency through college coursework.

• Another way to address the teacher workforce shortage is addressed in this bill by allowing teachers wishing to relocate to Nebraska to demonstrate their proficiency by their experience as an educator in another state rather than taking a single test such as the Praxis exam.

• LB1218 also would provide $1,000 in loan forgiveness to student teachers under the “Attracting Excellence to Teaching Program”. An individual would be required to provide service for a full academic semester within an accredited or approved public or private school and meet certain requirements to qualify.

• Adopts the “Teach in Nebraska Today Act” which provides for student loan repayment assistance of not more than $5K per year for up to five years.

Senator Rita Sanders of Bellevue introduced LB1158 which is her priority bill. This bill has advanced to General File and its purpose is to update Nebraska’s Parental Involvement and Academic Transparency laws and foster a stronger relationship between the school and the parents. Under the bill, a policy would be required to include how the district will provide parents and guardians access to digital and learning materials and training materials for teachers, administrators and staff as well as procedures for the review and approval of such materials and activities. A policy would have to describe under what circumstances a parent or guardian could ask that their child be excused from learning materials, activities and guest speakers that the parent finds objectionable. The commissioner of education would withhold state aid from school districts that fail to make learning materials available to parents or guardians. Testimony stated that this would promote transparency in school district policies and curricula.

The final bill that I’ll mention is Senator Albrecht’s LB 768, which didn’t advance from the Education Committee. Many of you are aware of the recent controversial health standards that the State Board of Education was contemplating. The intent of Senator Albrecht’s bill (which I cosponsored) is to prevent the State Board of Education from creating health education standards for Nebraska public schools. It would allow the board to develop, approve, and adopt academic content standards for reading, writing, mathematics, science and social studies. Senator Albrecht said that LB768 would be a “long overdue check” on the State Board of Education and the state Department of Education. This bill received both support and opposition at the committee hearing.

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.

March 18, 2022

After this week, the Nebraska Legislature has only fifteen working days left in this year’s sixty-day Legislative session. Most of the debate this week and next week has centered on (and will focus on) the State’s budget and how we spend the federal ARPA funds. A major component of these discussions this week has involved whether to build a new state prison and whether the state should adopt criminal justice reform measures that aim to reduce crime and recidivism.

Regarding the Nebraska State Penitentiary, the facility was originally built in 1869, and its walls are crumbling. It has aged beyond simple repair and the cost to bring it up to speed is greater than the cost of a new prison. While no one likes the idea of building a new prison, it is beyond time to replace this facility. A modern Penitentiary would facilitate criminal justice reform by offering a safer environment for inmates and staff. It would also allow the Department of Correctional Services to offer enhanced services and programming to better prepare these inmates for life after incarceration. Finally, the current facility is extremely overcrowded, and we need to increase capacity to help address this problem.

The second component of this issue is to address criminal justice reform issues. While I am a strong supporter of law enforcement and clear consequences for committing crime, I also believe that we need to be smart in addressing criminal justice. A study was recently completed by the Nebraska Criminal Justice Reinvestment Working Group which was comprised of members of the Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary branches. Technical assistance was provided through a national group that has worked with other states experiencing similar problems. This comprehensive report may be found by clicking the “NECJR Working Group Final Report” link on the Legislature’s webpage for the Judiciary Committee ( Against national trends, Nebraska’s incarceration rate has been increasing over the last decade and despite increased spending, recidivism rates have increased. In order to prioritize public safety and effectively reduce recidivism, the Working Group came up with twenty-one options (seventeen of which received unanimous consensus). Among these options were establishing a streamlined parole process, expand problem-solving courts, and expand the use of sentencing alternatives. Legislation reflecting this report has been introduced.

After listening to debate on this issue, I believe that we don’t have to choose between a new prison and criminal justice reform; that we need to look at both to address Nebraska’s criminal justice issues. We need to keep communities safe and spend taxpayer dollars wisely.

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
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