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Two significant bills made progress this week. LB806, my priority bill, which allows for instant racing terminals at racetracks for wagering on historic horse races in Nebraska has advanced to the second round of debate after extensive discussion and a close vote. This bill is positive for the horseracing industry as well as our agricultural sector, and I look forward to the next round of debate.
LB721, which redefines the term police animal to include animals owned by cities and counties, was advanced on Consent Calendar last Thursday morning by a vote of 36-0. I brought this bill on behalf of the police and sheriff’s departments in my district to protect their considerable investment in police dogs because these dogs should be protected just as those used by the State Patrol.
The Legislature also debated and advanced LB970, which is the tax cut proposed by Governor Heineman. The Legislature made changes to the bill again and reduced the fiscal impact from the original amendment proposed by the Revenue Committee, which I discussed in my update last week. The fiscal impact this year will be small, but this tax cut in the rates for individual income taxpayers will cost just shy of $100 million during the next biennium. The Legislature felt that it was important to try to give some of their hard-earned dollars back to the taxpayer.
The Legislature also debated the budget bills and made some changes to accommodate the tax cuts in LB970. The budget bills have been placed on final reading and will soon be before the body for a final vote. LB970, the tax cut bill, faces another round of debate before it will be placed on final reading.
Senator Tyson Larson