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Sen. Tyson Larson

Sen. Tyson Larson

District 40

June 7, 2013 Legislative Update

September 10th, 2013

June 7, 2013 Legislative Update

Dear Residents of the 40th District,

On Wednesday, June 5, the first session of the 103rd Legislature came to a close. There were 665 bills introduced, of which 214 were passed. We debated many important issues, ranging from the reformation of the juvenile justice system, to the recalculation of K-12 education funding, to the restructuring Nebraska’s tax code, among others. I was fortunate to sit on the Appropriations Committee and helped put together the state’s budget for the next two years. I was also able to pass LB59 into law, which will give crop insurance agents the ability to work more with their family and those close to them.

The time between now and next session allows my staff and I do to research into issues facing District 40 and Nebraska that can be solved with legislation. Specifically, I proposed two interim studies to examine changing the age of majority in Nebraska to eighteen years of age, and to evaluate the state’s current statutes relating to drainage by neighboring landowners. If you have any suggestions for future legislation, please contact my office in the upcoming months at 402-471-2801 or at tlarson@leg.ne.gov. I appreciate hearing from my constituents on issues that are important to them and want to ensure that your questions and concerns are addressed.

Respectfully,

Senator Tyson Larson

May 31, 2013 Legislative Update

September 10th, 2013

May 31, 2013 Legislative Update

Dear Residents of the 40th District,

The Legislature has wrapped up its final full week and will officially end session next Wednesday. This week the body debated the Governor’s vetoes to the budget bills and voted to override several vetoes on the funding of various agency programs. Included in those veto overrides was funding for the Nebraska State Historical Society and funding for the construction of a new University of Nebraska nursing college building. The body also overrode the vetoes of an increase in county court employees’ salaries and of funding for the court appointed special advocates.

On Wednesday, the Legislature voted to advance LB104, which is a bill introduced by Senator Lathrop to create tax incentives for investment in renewable energy projects throughout the state. The bill was passed and sent to the Governor for his signature or veto. I supported this bill throughout the process and voted to pass it on Wednesday. I think this bill will help bring renewable energy projects to our state and will help benefit our economy in District 40 and in Nebraska as a whole.

My staff and I are beginning to look into different topics for legislation for next session. Over the interim, we do research into issues brought to our attention by constituents to see if bills could be introduced to change or improve Nebraska’s statutes on the matter. If you have an idea for a bill or have an issue facing you or your community that you think could be solved by legislation, please contact my office at 402-471-2801 or at tlarson@leg.ne.gov.

Best Wishes,

Senator Tyson Larson

May 24, 2013 Legislative Update

September 10th, 2013

May 24, 2013 Legislative Update

Dear Residents of the 40th District,

This Monday marked the 80th day of session and only a few legislative work days remain. This is the time when the agenda is focused on moving the bills that are on select file to final reading so they can be approved or vetoed by the Governor. The Legislature is also required to submit the final budget to the Governor by Day 80, so Monday’s debate was centered around the budget bills and getting them through the final step of the legislative process. After additional debate, the Legislature successfully passed the seven bills that make up our proposed budget and presented them to the Governor for his consideration.

In addition to finalizing the budget, the Legislature also debated LB104, which is a bill to create tax incentives for those looking to invest in renewable energy projects. This will encourage individuals or businesses who invest or are looking to invest in renewable energy projects to come to Nebraska. I have supported LB104 up to this point because I know it will help develop these kinds of projects in Holt and Dixon Counties. I look forward to the continued debate on this bill and I believe that it is an important piece of legislation to further economic growth in our state.

After session ends for the year, senators’ offices have the opportunity to research different issues to generate ideas for future legislation. I submitted two interim study resolutions that will be focuses for my office in the coming months. One of the interim study resolutions looks at changing the age of majority from nineteen years of age to eighteen years of age. Nebraska is only one of three states that has its age of majority set at nineteen or older, and lowering the age of majority to eighteen could result in significant cost savings for our state over time. I introduced a bill this session to lower the age of majority to eighteen and this interim study will continue the progress my office and I have made on this issue.

The second interim study resolution I introduced proposes to review Nebraska’s drainage statutes, specifically those that govern drainage by neighboring landowners. Several of you have contacted my office over the past few months with concerns about the construction of new tile drains or ditches by neighboring property owners that, over time, impact your land. The statutes that govern drainage procedures by neighboring landowners have not been updated in some time, and the interim study I submitted will investigate the best ways to improve these statutes to help landowners resolve drainage problems as effectively as possible.

I enjoy hearing your comments or feedback on issues that are important to the people of Legislative District 40. Please feel free to call, write, or visit the office that is here to represent and serve you at 402-471-2801 or at tlarson@leg.ne.gov.

Best Wishes,

Senator Tyson Larson

May 17, 2013 Legislative Update

September 10th, 2013

May 17, 2013 Legislative Update

Dear Residents of the 40th District,

The Legislature is moving into its final weeks of session and we are continuing to debate a number of important issues. On Monday the body discussed LB543, which is a bill introduced by Senator Chambers to repeal Nebraska’s death penalty. This bill would have prohibited the state from sentencing anyone to death, but instead require a sentence of life with or without the possibility of parole. There was much debate on the issue and on the various amendments that were offered. However, there was not a final vote taken on the bill.

Last week, after extensive debate, the budget bills were advanced to the next step in the legislative process. This week, the Legislature voted on the seven bills again to advance them to the final step of the legislative process and will likely be passed by the body sometime next week. The Legislature also spent time discussing LB553, which is the bill addressing the school teachers retirement system. The Governor vetoed the bill and called for a study of the retirement system as a whole and on how to improve the system before any long-term changes were made to it. On Tuesday, the Legislature voted to override the Governor’s veto on the bill.

Another bill that was discussed this week was LB568, which is a bill introduced by Senator Burke Harr to create the Health Insurance Exchange Navigator Licensure Act. This bill would require that those groups or individuals who want to help Nebraska residents with insurance programs available to them on the state’s healthcare exchange be licensed by the state. With all of the changes to the nation’s healthcare system, it is important to make sure that accurate information is provided by those helping individuals navigate this complex process. It is also important to ensure that the state is monitoring these groups or individuals who are essentially acting as insurance agents for the purpose of the state’s healthcare exchange. I support this bill and hope to see it advance.

I enjoy hearing your comments or feedback on issues that are important to the people of Legislative District 40. Please feel welcome to call, write, or visit the office that is here to represent and serve you at 402-471-2801 or at tlarson@leg.ne.gov.

Best Wishes,

Senator Tyson Larson

May 3, 2013 Legislative Update

Dear Residents of the 40th District,

The first session of the 103rd Legislature has passed the 70 day mark, and with less than 20 days left there is still much to discuss on the floor. Next week we will be focusing on the budget bills that were voted out of the Appropriations Committee on Monday. I am looking forward to discussing the various aspects of the proposed budget that will fund the state for the two upcoming fiscal years. I have enjoyed my time on the Appropriations Committee this year and anticipate a lively debate on our committee’s work.

On Tuesday, the Legislature debated LB354, which a bill I introduced to restructure the Nebraska Corn Board. The bill would make significant changes to the Corn Board, including adding a referendum option to raise the checkoff rate, allowing board members to be elected, permitting a right of refund on checkoff monies paid, and finally, to remove the Corn Board from state government. Debate on LB354 lasted most of the afternoon and no vote was taken on the bill. I, along with the Agriculture Committee, will be working to make some changes to enhance the bill’s goals of putting more control of the Corn Board’s operations into the hands of corn growers throughout the state. I believe LB354 serves an important purpose and will be beneficial to further develop and market our state’s agricultural economy.

Bills that have been placed on consent calendar have made it to the final stage of the legislative process, called final reading. After the bill is read for its “final” time, a vote is taken to pass or reject the bill in its entirety. Those bills that pass final reading then go to the Governor for his signature or veto. One of my bills, LB59, has made it to the final reading stage and I am looking forward to sending this piece of legislation to the Governor for his approval. LB59 would raise the percentage of business a crop insurance agent can undertake with family and business interests from 10% of the agent’s total business to 30% of an agent’s total business. This would allow crop insurance agents to do more business with family members and would remove some of the disadvantages small, rural crop insurance agents face with a 10% cap in place.

I enjoy hearing your comments or feedback on issues that are important to the people of Legislative District 40. Please feel welcome to call, write, or visit the office that is here to represent and serve you at 402-471-2801 or at tlarson@leg.ne.gov.

Best Wishes,

Senator Tyson Larson

April 26, 2013 Legislative Update

Dear Residents of the 40th District,

The Legislature has had another busy week of floor debate on a variety of pressing issues. On Monday, we began our discussions on LB407 which makes changes to the Tax Equity and Educational Opportunities Support Act, abbreviated as TEEOSA. The state uses the TEEOSA formula to determine funding levels for Nebraska’s public education. LB407 would make several changes to the TEEOSA formula to help make education funding more equal among the urban and rural counties throughout the state. The bill also ensures that the funding level proposed by the TEEOSA formula this year can be sustained by the state’s budget. The discussion on the bill was lengthy and I anticipate further debate on the bill.

As I mentioned last week, the Speaker created a consent calendar for a number of bills that are deemed to be non-controversial, but important, pieces of legislation. One of my bills, LB59, was placed on consent calendar and advanced on Wednesday to the final step of the legislative process. LB59 raise the percentage of business a crop insurance agent can undertake with family and business interests from 10% of the agent’s total business to 30% of an agent’s total business. This would allow crop insurance agents to do more business with family members and would keep agents in compliance with the Federal Crop Insurance Act. I look forward to taking this bill through final reading in the next few weeks.

My office had the privilege of hosting six high school juniors and seniors from District 40 for our Student Senate Program on Tuesday and Wednesday. Our students and a group of students from District 47 spent two days in Lincoln meeting with state officials, observing the Legislature in action, and debating the pros and cons of repealing the state’s death penalty. My staff and I were incredibly impressed with the students and their passion for state politics. I hope to continue this program next year for additional students who are interested.

Next week another one of the bills I introduced, LB354, will be debated on the floor. LB354 will make significant changes to the Nebraska Corn Board. It would give grower members the opportunity to vote for their board members and would allow growers the opportunity to ask for a refund of checkoff dollars they pay to the Corn Board. LB354 also gives grower members the ability to raise the checkoff rate through a referendum and would take the Corn Board’s operations out of state government. I am looking forward to bringing this bill to the floor and am anticipating a robust debate on these proposed reforms.

I enjoy hearing your comments or feedback on issues that are important to the people of Legislative District 40. Please feel free to call, write, or visit the office that is here to represent and serve you at 402-471-2801 or at tlarson@leg.ne.gov.

Best Wishes,

Senator Tyson Larson

April 19, 2013 Legislative Update

Dear Residents of the 40th District,

There are about seven weeks left of the first session of the 103rd Legislature and many important issues are being brought to the floor for debate. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Legislature debated LB577, which is a bill brought by Senator Campbell to expand Nebraska’s Medicaid program. Several amendments were proposed, including an amendment that would allow the Legislature to amend or repeal Medicaid expansion if federal funding ever dropped below the 90% promised by the Affordable Care Act. The discussion on LB577 lasted for over ten hours and no vote was taken on the bill.

The Legislature also debated LB579, which is a bill introduced by Senator Karpisek to hire six new state patrol officers to increase the number of officers dedicated to enforcing the Nebraska Liquor Control Act. I understand why Senator Karpisek brought this bill and I appreciate wanting to ensure that the Liquor Control Act is adequately enforced. However, I am hesitant to place into statute a requirement that the State Patrol hire a certain number of officers and dedicate those officers to a certain kind of task. I want the State Patrol to have the flexibility to determine the best way to use its resources in an efficient and effective manner. I also know that this bill has monetary obligations attached to it that, as a member of the Appropriations Committee, concern me as well.

The Speaker has dedicated this Friday’s agenda to consent calendar. Consent calendar is a special agenda set by the speaker that contains generally noncontroversial bills that are debated for a shorter period of time and are advanced through the process quicker than those bills on the regular agenda. LB59 was placed on consent calendar by the Speaker and I look forward to the debate on this bill. LB59 would raise the percentage of business a crop insurance agent can undertake with family and business interests from 10% of the agent’s total business to 30% of an agent’s total business. This would allow crop insurance agents to do more business with family members and would keep agents in compliance with the Federal Crop Insurance Act.

Next week, I am excited to host six high school students from Dixon, Cedar, and Holt Counties for District 40’s first annual Student Senate Program. These students, along with students from District 45, will be participating in a two-day program that will introduce them to various aspects of our state government. They will be observing the Legislature’s debate on the floor and engaging in their own mock debate as well, among other activities. I look forward to hosting these students and their sponsors.

I enjoy hearing your comments or feedback on issues that are important to the people of Legislative District 40. Please feel welcome to call, write, or visit the office that is here to represent and serve you at 402-471-2801 and at tlarson@leg.ne.gov.

Best Wishes,

Senator Tyson Larson

Dear Residents of the 40th District,

After a long weekend break, the Legislature has continued this week with full day floor debate. On Tuesday morning, we started debate on my priority bill, LB57. LB57 would place oversight mechanisms into statute that requires the Nebraska Environmental Trust to approve transactions involving real property purchased with Trust dollars. It also requires that Trust grantees who ever sell or transfer land to the federal government find a way to replace the lost property taxes created by removing that land from the county property tax rolls. This will help counties recover lost revenue when they have land purchased with Trust dollars that is subsequently sold or transferred to the federal government.

The debate on LB57 lasted eight hours and the Legislature had a robust discussion on the merits of the bill. My intentions behind introducing this bill are twofold: first, I want to enhance the accountability of the Nebraska Environmental Trust board and the money they give to organizations who apply for Trust grants. Furthermore, I want to make sure that counties are not losing valuable property tax income generated from properties that are purchased with a Trust grant and later taken off county tax rolls. This kind of situation has impacted counties throughout the state and those counties have lost thousands of dollars in property tax revenue each year.

LB57 was voted to advance to the next step in the legislative process and I look forward to continuing the debate on this bill and working with interested parties on potential amendments between now and select file. I am also anticipating that LB354, which is a bill I introduced to restructure the Nebraska Corn Board, will be placed on the agenda soon. Additionally, the Appropriations Committee is continuing to work on ironing out the budget proposal for the next biennium and the budget in its final form will be introduced within the next few weeks as well. The Appropriations Committee meets at various times throughout the day to give members the chance to be present for floor debate, while still allowing the Committee ample time to go over the final components of the budget.

I enjoy hearing your comments or feedback on issues that are important to the people of Legislative District 40. Please feel free to call, write, or visit the office that is here to represent and serve you at 402-471-2801 or at tlarson@leg.ne.gov.

Best Wishes,

Senator Tyson Larson

Dear Residents of the 40th District,

The first session of the 103rd Legislature is officially past the halfway mark.  This week we are wrapping up committee hearings and starting next Wednesday, the Legislature will begin full days of debate.  My priority bill, LB57, is on the agenda and will be debated on the floor within the next few weeks.  LB57 is a bill that would expand the oversight authority of the Nebraska Environmental Trust when its funds are used by grantees to purchase real property.  It also provides for county reimbursement for lost property tax revenue when Environmental Trust-funded property is ever sold or transferred to a federal land management agency.   I look forward to the debate on this bill and am optimistic that it will advance.

 Another one of my bills, LB354, was selected as a priority bill for Senator Scott Lautenbaugh of Omaha.  LB354 is a bill to restructure the Nebraska Corn Board.  It will allow grower members to elect their board members and would create a right to a refund on any checkoff dollars paid by a corn grower.  LB354 would also allow corn grower members to raise the checkoff through a referendum.  This bill would make significant and important changes to the Corn Board and would provide additional accountability and oversight to the Board as a whole.  This bill has received a lot of support thus far and I am anticipating a good, thorough debate on this bill.

While the rest of the Legislature’s committees wind down this week, the Appropriations Committee will continue to work on the state’s budget over the upcoming weeks.  The Committee has been holding hearings for various state agencies to come and explain their spending requests and overall budgets.  On Tuesday, the University of Nebraska System testified and made the case for the state to increase its allocation to allow for a two-year tuition freeze for its students.  While I believe that higher education is an important investment that students should consider upon graduating from highschool, I believe it is just that: an investment.  We guarantee an education to our children from kindergarten through high school, and I think we need to take a hard look at the money we take away from K through 12 education to fund Nebraska’s Universities. 

I enjoy hearing your comments or feedback on issues that are important to the people of Legislative District 40.  Please feel welcome to call, write, or visit the office that is here to represent and serve you at 402-471-2801 or at tlarson@leg.ne.gov.

 

Best Wishes,

Senator Tyson Larson

Dear Residents of the 40th District,

The first session of the 103rd Legislature is almost to the halfway mark. This week on the floor we wrapped up a lengthy debate on horseracing and advanced a constitutional amendment on that subject to select file. We will also begin debate on bills that senators have prioritized this session. I have decided to prioritize LB57, which is a bill that would expand the oversight authority of the Nebraska Environmental Trust (NET) when its funds are used by grantees to purchase real property. It would also provide that counties would be reimbursed for lost tax revenue when NET-funded property is ever sold or transferred to a federal land management agency.

This week I introduced three bills to the Judiciary Committee, including LB204, which is a bill that creates stricter requirements for reporting cases of animal abuse. Any observed incident of animal mistreatment, cruelty, or neglect would have to be reported within 24 hours of witnessing the abuse. The bill creates penalties for individuals who try and gain employment at an animal facility with the intent to disrupt the operations of that facility. The purpose of this bill is to prevent applicants from misrepresenting themselves to get jobs that would allow them to cause economic harm to an animal facility’s operations.

Additionally, I introduced LB247 and LB355 to the Judiciary Committee on Friday. LB247 would allow judges additional flexibility when it comes to ordering parents to pay child support for a child who is placed with a state agency or is ordered to undergo medical or psychological treatment. LB355 would change the age of majority from its current nineteen years old to eighteen years old. Nebraska is one of only three states that has an age of majority over eighteen years old. I believe that if you are able to vote, enlist in the military, and make other major life choices at eighteen, you should have the all of the rights afforded to adults in Nebraska as well.

Another one of my bills, LB354, was voted out of the Agriculture Committee on Tuesday and was selected as a priority bill for Senator Scott Lautenbaugh of Omaha. LB354 is a bill to restructure the Nebraska Corn Board. It will allow grower members to elect their board members and would create a right to a refund on any checkoff dollars paid by a corn grower. LB354 would also allow corn grower members to raise the checkoff through a referendum. This bill would make significant and important changes to the Corn Board and would provide additional accountability and oversight to the Board as a whole.

I enjoy hearing your comments or feedback on issues that are important to the people of Legislative District 40. Please feel free to call, write, or visit the office that is here to represent and serve you at 402-471-2801 or at tlarson@leg.ne.gov.

Best Wishes,

Senator Tyson Larson

Sen. Tyson Larson

District 40
Room #1019
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2801
Email: tlarson@leg.ne.gov
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