NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE
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Sen. Tom Brewer

Sen. Tom Brewer

District 43

08/04/17 Weekly Update

August 8th, 2017

I continue to tour the different correctional facilities across the State. Our committee visited the Work Ethic Camp in McCook and the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women in York, NE. These tours are very informative and I am learning more and more about the many different aspects and challenges everyone is facing either as an inmate or as a staff member. The Legislature will be better prepared to discuss and address these concerns and challenges after we wrap up the work of this committee this summer, but wrap it up we must. I’m a new Senator but Nebraska’s problems with corrections is an old issue. I think this is the third legislative committee to study this. It’s something the Legislature has to address in the next session.

I’m happy to report that an idea for reducing property taxes has finally emerged. Since January, the staff and I have had weekly discussions between groups of concerned citizens and many Senators all working toward a solution. This idea will reduce property taxes by about 30%, and will not impact the revenue currently collected by any local unit of government, namely schools. The details of the language of the proposal are being worked out right now, but I am confident citizen groups will begin circulating a ballot petition that amends the Nebraska Constitution in the next month or so. As soon as it is available, I will share all the specifics of the plan. I am very excited about this.

While the many groups of citizens will be presenting this ballot initiative to the people of Nebraska, Sen. Erdman who is the State Senator for District 47 (just to the West of us) has stated he will introduce the idea as a Legislative Resolution. Hopefully, one way or another, either through the people on a ballot initiative, or Sen. Erdman’s resolution, we will have real property relief for the first time in generations.

I am pessimistic about this idea ever passing in the Legislature, so it is very important to have the people (the 2nd House of Government in Nebraska) propel this forward as a ballot initiative. I have heard many painful stories from you in the district and also from all across Nebraska. We get calls every day with heartbreaking stories of how property taxes are breaking the backs of our citizens. In the Army we had a thing we called “the decisive operation.” In plain English, that means the number one priority. This is it! That’s why I support this duel effort thru a ballot initiative and a Legislative Resolution. When this ballot initiative petition hits the streets, these groups of citizens will need all the help they can get in order to obtain the required number of signatures before the deadline to place it on the ballot in November 2018. Sen Erdman will also need all the help he can get supporting his Legislative Resolution in January when the session starts. I will co-sponsor it, as will many others, but we need concerned citizens to fill the Capitol the day of this resolution’s committee hearing. Please email or call me if you are interested in helping with this project, and my office will connect you with the right people.

As you know from my last weekly update, I have asked the Chairmen of both Natural Resources Committee and the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee (Senators Hughes and Murante) to hold Public Hearings concerning NPPD’s proposed “R Line” project. I have many concerns about this. A number of things have eroded public trust in this project, so I would hope all parties concerned would welcome a public hearing to clear the air and answer questions. As of this writing, I have yet to receive word any hearings have been scheduled. Citizens who would be interested in participating in these should contact Senator’s Hughes and Murante and encourage them to schedule them.

Sen. John Murante may be reached at; jmurante@leg.ne.gov or call 402-471-2725

Sen. Dan Hughes may be reached at; dhughes@leg.ne.gov, 402-471-2805

Please contact my office with any comments, questions or concerns. Email me at tbrewer@leg.ne.gov or call us at (402) 471-2628.

Sen. Tom Brewer

District 43
Room #1202
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2628
Email: tbrewer@leg.ne.gov
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