With the beginning of the legislative session, the Nebraska State Capitol is full of activity and senators are busy reviewing proposed legislation. One of my bills has gathered the attention from some of my fellow senators.
LB 944 prohibits campaigns from paying elected officials for personal services; personal services can include campaign managers, consultants or fundraisers. LB944 is needed to close a current loophole in law that allows an elected official to financially profit through another candidate’s campaign.
The potential for abuse is enormous.
An elected official who is looking to make money off of their position can sign on to be a consultant or employee of a campaign, then approach lobbyists and interest groups to donate to the campaign. This money could then be funneled back to the elected official.
It is important to remember this same elected official decides the fate of legislation supported or opposed by the same lobbyists and interest groups who they solicited for a donation.
I found myself asking, what if the elected official tries to sell their vote to the lobbyists and interest groups? What if the elected officials says they will do everything in their power to go against the lobbyist or interest group if they do not donate to the campaign?
The above scenario must not be allowed to happen.
Nebraskans expect and demand their elected officials to conduct themselves with integrity; including their actions outside their official duties.
As your state senator, I swore an oath of office to “faithfully and impartially perform the duties of the office.” I take this oath very seriously and is the reason why I introduced LB 944.
I have also introduced a bill that will hopefully lower the amount of paper we receive in the senator’s offices. LB 782 will require every report that is submitted to the legislature to be submitted electronically.
In preparing this bill, we found 256 statutes that need to be changed which makes LB 782 382 pages long. The irony that it takes a large number of pages to reduce the amount of paper used is not lost. In fact, it gives a small taste of how much paper, ink, and man hours can potentially be saved by requiring reports to be submitted electronically.
Even though LB 782 is long, it is a common sense, simple bill that is need in our legislature.
I encourage you to be an active participant as Nebraska’s “second house.” You can watch proceedings in person from the balcony in the chamber, take part in committee hearings, or watch live video streaming at www.nebraskalegislature.com.
If you have any questions or I can be of assistance, you can email me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my office at the State Capitol at 402-471-2885.
“The Salvation of the State is Watchfulness in the Citizen”.