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Senator Tom Brewer
This week I visited Valentine and Mullen and learned about all of the incredible developments going on with the internet in the district as part of the Nebraska Telecommunications Association’s tour. High-speed internet is now and will continue to become more and more available in the district, even to our many small towns and distant ranch and rural locations. A combination of companies developing fiber optic cable infrastructure and others delivering internet wirelessly via the cellular telephone network are rapidly expanding their service footprint. We had a great lunch stop in Mullen where I got to visit with quite a few folks from the district. This event was well attended by the public and the local schools. The exciting possibilities that come from high-speed internet access are incredible and I am very glad to see this capability finally coming to Western Nebraska.
I was able to attend the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War at the Hay Springs Community Hall. It was a themed USO show with Miss Nebraska, Allison Tietien as part of the cast. It was very well attended by many in the district. It is good to show our Vietnam Vets that they are not forgotten.
The Logan County Farm Bureau had their annual meeting in Stapleton which I attended and gave a Legislative update. They are a great organization. They are very invested in property tax relief/reform and understandably so. We continue to work on efforts with Senator Erdman to get a bill passed that will lower property taxes for Nebraskans and change how we assess the value of agricultural ground.
As part of the Whiteclay Task Force, we met in Whiteclay this past weekend to continue to build upon the progress that has been made. Continued economic development was discussed. The University of Nebraska Medical Center demonstrated the new “Tele-health” technology which makes delivering primary healthcare to rural Nebraska. I toured the new Family Dollar Store. My office is working with the Sheriff and the Nebraska State Patrol to ensure highway 87 is sufficiently patrolled.
This week I met with a veterans group on LB 121 which I introduced last session and is still stuck in the Revenue Committee. It would exempt some military retired pay from Nebraska income tax. This exemption is a good idea because every state we share a border with does a way better job of this than Nebraska does. We are losing thousands of outstanding, highly educated and qualified people (military retirees) who settle in other states to avoid Nebraska’s confiscatory income tax laws. This same group also supports ending Nebraska’s income tax on Social Security. We are one of only six States who tax Social Security. It’s a dumb idea taxing military retired pay. It’s a dollar chasing a dime. Taxing Social Security is just immoral. The money was already subjected to income tax when the person earned it and had it taken out of their pay check. Taxing it again is just wrong.
A lot of folks have expressed concern to me about the tragedy in Las Vegas. Like everyone else, I am shocked and heartbroken by this senseless crime, but a “crime” is exactly what it is. The shooter broke the law. Murder is already illegal. A “gun control” law would not have prevented it, nor would it stop it from happening again. Laws only govern the behavior of the law-abiding. What really bothers me are those who employ the tired old straw man fallacy which promotes the idea that being against a gun control law somehow means I don’t care about the victims. This is as dishonest as it is false. Someone’s outrage and demand for additional limits on our constitutional rights doesn’t make them the morally superior side of this argument. The number of people slaughtered in Chicago amounts to a Las Vegas tragedy every month, yet that city has some of the toughest gun laws in the country. Where’s the outrage for that? We need “common sense criminal control.” The 2nd amendment is already the only constitutional right you have to ask permission to use. Further infringement on something that the constitution says “shall not be infringed” won’t stop criminals from ignoring the law because that is what criminals do.
Please contact my office with any comments, questions or concerns. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (402) 471-2628.