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Floor debate on priority bills continued this week. A lot of time continues to be spent on the “Choose Life” license plate. This is a controversial issue and has generated a lot of debate and cloture votes. The Helmet Law Bill from Sen. Lowe of Kearney is also a controversial issue where debate went to a cloture vote. That failed by one vote which was disappointing. Sen. Lowe is a good senator. Like Senator’s do, he tirelessly promoted his bill with all the Senators of the body. I supported him. He had received promises from several who pledged to vote for cloture (stopping debate) and they changed their vote at the last minute. I am taking the time to explain this because I hear from folks all the time who tell me they don’t like the political partisanship they see in our non-partisan legislature. I would urge folks to remember that integrity; being true to one’s word, is far more important than political ideology. Lack of integrity causes far more problems in our Unicameral than any political party ever did and I am sad to report I see it every day.
My bill that would establish a two-year moratorium on commercial wind energy development in the Sandhills (LB 504) survived a kill motion and is now “held in committee” and will very likely stay there without any action for the rest of the session. The Chairman of the Committee, Sen. Dan Hughes (LD44) opposes the bill, and as long as he does, it will never come out of the committee to the floor of the legislature for debate. I would like to thank the many hundreds of my constituents in the 43rd District who took the time to come testify for the bill, and who have called and written letters and emails to the committee. Thank you for being Nebraska’s “2nd House.”
The Revenue Committee will meet in Executive Session very soon. My bill to put a four-year cap on property taxes beginning in 2019 (LB 576) will be on the agenda. I have worked closely with the eight members of the Revenue Committee and as I write this the vote is too close to call. We need five votes to advance the bill to general file. As I have said before, Nebraskans should not have to suffer future increases in property taxes while waiting for the legislature to fix this extremely complex problem. I would urge people interested in this bill to contact the members of the Revenue Committee, most especially the Chairman, Sen. Jim Smith (LD 14) and ask him to vote to advance the bill to general file.
I have two bills left to introduce:
LB 503. Stops the State from collecting union dues from employees.
Business & Labor Committee, 20 March at 1:30pm, room 2102.
LB 502. Implements “Constitutional Carry” for guns.
Judiciary Committee, 23 March at 1:30pm, Room 1113.
I’ll be doing a Town Hall in the district this Saturday. Please join me at the Bunkhouse in Valentine at 8:00am on Saturday the 25th of March. It’s at 109 East Highway 20.
I want to thank everyone who contacts my office letting us know where you stand on bills before the legislature. Please keep your calls and letters coming. Please contact the office if you would like to set up a time to visit with me, or you have any concerns about what is happening in YOUR legislature.