NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE
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Sen. Tyson Larson

Sen. Tyson Larson

District 40

Dear Residents of the 40th District,

This week we wrapped up bill introduction for this session.  Close to 460 pieces of new legislation and six proposed constitutional amendments were introduced and all will be scheduled for public hearings over the next few weeks.   Senators will also continue with floor debate in the mornings.

On Thursday, the Legislature spent time debating another one of my bills, LB597.  LB597 would make some changes to the statutes that govern county agricultural societies.  This bill would allow these societies some  flexibility when it comes to buying, selling, and leasing the real estate each society owns.  It would also allow them to make equipment purchases with the levy money collected by each county for its respective agricultural society.   County agricultural societies are important entities for our counties and I am glad this bill advanced with strong support to the next step in the legislative process.

Two of my bills received hearings this week.  LB699 had its hearing on Wednesday in front of the Natural Resources Committee.   This bill would give individuals with special needs opportunities to participate in the sport of hunting, as well as make some changes to the current hunter education requirements.  The hearing went very well and had a lot of support from those who came to testify.

LB697 had its hearing on Thursday in front of the Revenue Committee.  LB697 is a straightforward bill that would require the Department of Revenue to publish a compiled list of tax delinquent properties from across the state.  This would put the details on these properties in one place so that interested individuals can have easier access to that information.  I am hopeful that both this bill and LB699 will advance to be debated by the full Legislature.

Please feel welcome to call, write, or visit the office that is here to represent you at (402) 471-2801 or at tlarson@leg.ne.gov.

Best Wishes,

Senator Tyson Larson

Dear Residents of the 40th District,

Today concludes the first full week of session.  On Monday, the Legislature began discussing bills that were introduced last year but had not yet been debated on the floor.  One of my bills from last year, LB56, was debated on Tuesday and was advanced to the next step in the legislative process.  LB56 would allow candidates for county office to automatically advance to the general election and bypass the primary process if the candidate was running unopposed for his or her party’s nomination.  We had good policy discussions on the floor and I look forward to future debate on this bill.

Senators continued to introduce new legislation this week as well.  I introduced two more bills this week, LB873 and LB874.  Both bills appropriate money to the Game and Parks Commission to help build up our state’s parks system.  LB873 is a bill that provides general funding to Game and Parks for park improvement and maintenance.  LB874 gives money to the Commission to help improve Ponca State Park which is located in our district.  This bill will help fund improvements to the Park’s swimming pool and help build twelve new camper-cabins for visitors to use and enjoy.  Ponca State Park is important to District 40 and to Nebraska, and I hope this bill will help better an already outstanding part of our state.

As I mentioned last week, hearings for newly introduced legislation will being on Tuesday, January 21st.  One of my first hearings will take place on Wednesday, January 22nd, for LB699.  LB699 was an idea brought to me by one of my constituents who provides opportunities for youth with special needs to participate in supervised hunting programs.  Current law restricts individuals with disabilities from obtaining hunting permits.  Other states have exemptions similar to the one proposed in LB699, and I am hopeful that this bill will give individuals with special needs the opportunity to participate in this sport.

If you have any questions regarding legislation introduced or any other issue, please contact my office at (402) 471-2801 or at tlarson@leg.ne.gov.

Best Wishes,

Senator Tyson Larson

Dear Residents of the 40th District,

On January 8th, 2014, the second session of the 103rd Legislature convened.  This session is what is known as “short session” and only lasts sixty days, as opposed to the ninety day session we held last year.  This week, senators spent the first few days introducing new legislation.  We are allowed ten days for bill introduction, so more new legislation will be introduced next week as well.  Hearings on new bills will begin on Tuesday, January 21 in the afternoons.

I introduced four new bills this week and will have two bills from last session carry-over as well.  One of my new bills, LB699, will provide additional access to supervised hunting programs for individuals with developmental disabilities. The idea for this bill was brought by one of my constituents and I am looking forward to moving this bill along through the legislative process.  LB698 is a bill that will give those who live off of a state highway the ability to apply for a permit to mow and harvest hay every year instead of every other year. Many of you contacted me this summer with questions and frustrations with the current statute, so I hope this piece of legislation can clarify some of the confusion and bring us in line with practices in other states.

LB697 will require the Department of Revenue to create a website to post information on tax delinquent properties across the state. This website would allow individuals to access information from each county about its tax delinquent properties from one place, instead of seeking out information on these properties from each individual county.  Finally, I introduced an appropriations bill to help the Department of Motor Vehicles fund the process of replacing their Vehicle Titling and Registration system.  This system is over twenty years old and needs to be updated to meet the current needs of Nebraska residents.

If you have any questions regarding legislation introduced or any other issue, please contact my office at (402) 471-2801 or at tlarson@leg.ne.gov.

Best Wishes,

Senator Tyson Larson

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

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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