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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 email@example.com.
Senator Tyson Larson