NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE
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Sen. Tom Brewer

Sen. Tom Brewer

District 43

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01-19-2018 Weekly Update

February 14th, 2018

Senator Tom Brewer
43rd District
01-19-2018

It’s not often I get a chance to talk about something the government is doing right, so I was very excited to learn about the State Patrol’s on-line concealed carry renewal process.

If you go to this website: https://www.nebraska.gov/apps-nsp-chp/ you can renew your concealed carry permit on-line. The old process for renewing or replacing permits could be a time-intensive task which required permit holders to show up in person at one of the six Nebraska State Patrol branch offices around the State to renew their permit. This new online portal will be helpful to Nebraskans, especially those in the 43rd District who would have to travel long distances. No waiting in line and no appointments needed. Well done Nebraska State Patrol!

The 2nd Session of the 105th Legislature is moving right along. Being a “short-session” (60 legislative days) things are very compressed compared to last year. The 18th of January was the last day to drop new bills in the 105th legislature. All told, 1136 bills were introduced, 667 last session and 469 this session. Now I understand with much sharper clarity what Mark Twain meant when he said, “”No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.” You look at a number like that and you have to wonder if we really need that many new laws. I think of this when I hear someone say, “There ought to be a law!”

What I’ve found is very few of those 1136 bills are actually new laws. There are 90 “chapters” of Nebraska laws (statutes). As it turns out, almost everything someone can think of is already in one of those chapters. The vast majority of the 1136 bills is changing something in a law that already exists, fixing language that doesn’t work, or updating old laws to keep up with technology. The creation of the internet causes a lot of bills, for example. In the end, very few bills actually create brand new laws that there wasn’t a statute for already. One thing is for sure; all of the easy bills were passed long before I got here. It is very difficult to get a bill turned into a law, and I am glad it is. Only a fraction of these 1136 bills will ever make it to the Governor’s desk.

LB 1054 is a bill I introduced this session that deals with Wind Energy. It is my priority bill. It will restore the practice of requiring wind energy companies to make application to the Power Review Board before wind energy projects can move forward. If it passes, this will be the first time people directly affected by a wind energy project will have a voice in the Power Review Board process. It will also make that voice matter in the boards’ decision-making. The hearing will be in the Natural Resource Committee in early February. I hope we can fill the hearing room with interested parties. More to follow.

I really like Sen. Erdman’s Property Tax Bill, LB 829. I co-sponsored this bill and worked very closely with him on this bill all summer. The hearing will be in the Revenue Committee this coming Thursday on the 25th of January. I strongly encourage folks to follow it because it is very similar to the people’s ballot initiative. It will lower property taxes in Nebraska by about 30%. People who wish to send a letter to the committee to be included in the record for the hearing must do so by 5:00pm the day before the hearing. If you can make it to the hearing that day, we would really appreciate the support.

I have heard from a great many of you about the incident last August at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. This is where a young student was accosted by a faculty member while she was promoting a conservative organization. I was involved with this issue from the beginning, and have worked closely with my friend Sen. Halloran from Hastings. He has introduced LB 718 which addresses the conduct of university faculty and staff. I have also co-sponsored this bill. It will be heard in the Education Committee on the 30th of January. As with Sen. Erdman’s bill, I am certain he would also appreciate your support.

You can find more information on all of the bills on the legislature’s website: https://nebraskalegislature.gov/. You can sign up for the “Unicameral Update” to be mailed free of charge by calling 402-471-2788 or email at: uio@leg.ne.gov.

Please contact my office with any comments, questions or concerns. Email me at; tbrewer@leg.ne.gov. Mail a letter to; Sen. Tom Brewer, Room #1202, P.O. Box 94604, Lincoln, NE 68509 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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