I always begin this update with “floor debate on priority bills continued this week.” It did as always, but this week we had two important bills before the Legislature, both of which I co-sponsored. LR 6 is a Resolution that would add Nebraska to the ten States that have already passed applications to Congress. This calls for a Convention of States for the purpose of proposing amendments to the Constitution. I have received a lot of calls about this subject. Please keep them coming.
The idea this will become some run-away convention that re-writes the whole constitution is simply false. You may have heard from a group promoting this idea. If you would like to learn more about this issue, please give my office a call and speak to my Legislative Aide, Tony Baker about this. Please remember – the Article V Convention of States can only PROPOSE amendments to the US Constitution. 38 States still need to ratify them before they become part of the constitution whether 2/3’s of Congress proposes the amendment, or 2/3s of States propose them.
LB 68 was heard on the floor again this week. I also co-sponsored this bill. It would enforce Nebraska State Law on the carrying of guns State-wide without exemption by cities and towns. An amendment for Omaha was included. This was a hotly debated measure, but the introducer, Senator Hilgers of Lincoln, was able to put together the 33 votes needed to break the filibuster and invoke cloture. The vote was a close one, but the cloture motion prevailed by 33 votes and the bill advanced.
The Governor’s Bill, LB 461, will be debated on the 21st. This bill changes how agricultural land is valued by the County Assessor from a “comparable sales” method to an “income” method. States around Nebraska are doing this already. It will be a historic change in how property taxes for agricultural ground are assessed in Nebraska. The idea is ground will be valued based on how much income can be derived from farming or ranching on that ground. The staff and I continue to analyze these bills, but I am very encouraged by what I see so far. The Revenue Committee and the Governor’s Office have worked very hard on this. Like I said last week, I think real property tax reform for agriculture ground is really going to happen this session.
I cannot tell you enough how important it is we continue to hear from you. Please contact my office with any comments, questions or concerns. Email me at email@example.com or call us at (402) 471-2628.