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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senator Tyson Larson