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Senator Tom Brewer
The election is behind us. On a National level, I was pleased to see those U.S. Senators who voted against confirming Judge Kavanagh lose their elections. On a State level, I was saddened to see the Medicaid Expansion ballot initiative pass 53% to 47% statewide.
It was defeated in 85 of Nebraska’s 93 counties. In the 13 counties of the 43rd Legislative District, it was defeated by wide margins in all but Dawes County, where the measure carried by just 258 votes. Initiative 427 was beaten in our district 57% to 43%. It’s safe to say the overwhelming majority of voters in my district do not support it. I will introduce legislation in the next session that will represent this dissatisfaction.
ONE COUNTY in Nebraska, by itself, had more than enough votes to pass this initiative. In Douglas County alone it carried by nearly 47,000 votes and passed statewide by 42,000 votes. 2/3 of Nebraska’s population lives in an urban setting. People in cities seem to vote for more government services.
Technically, the Legislature can change the “law” created by a ballot initiative, but laws made by ballot initiative are special. Our Constitution requires 2/3 of the legislature, or 33 votes to change a law created by the people. Getting 33 votes in the Nebraska Legislature is next to impossible. The plain truth is at this time there is nothing senators can do about Medicaid Expansion. The fight is going to be about how to pay for it, and what programs and services Nebraskans will have to do without. There isn’t the votes to raise taxes, so cuts to other programs must be made to fund Medicaid Expansion.
Medicaid Expansion has all but destroyed any chance of property tax relief in this next session, but it has shown me some very instructive statistics. I’m more convinced than ever the only way we will get property tax relief is through the ballot initiative that is currently slated for the 2020 election. If the outcome of this election is any guide, winning Douglas County means we will get property tax relief. The idea there is a parcel of land smaller than many ranches in my district that contains enough votes to impose its will on the rest of the State is just staggering to me.
In other news, an incumbent NPPD Board Member was defeated 62% to 38%. Mr. Thomas Hoff, who voted for the R-Project power line, won only his home county of Custer, and lost the other 20 counties of his district. The ONLY check and balance on our public power companies is the ballot box. I am so pleased the voice of the people effected by the decisions members of this board makes was heard loud and clear in this race.
Speaking of the R-Project power line (wind energy is it’s purpose) the Cherry County Commission met recently to discuss a zoning ordinance for wind energy. Over 80 citizens attended. They noted only 3 people spoke on behalf of wind energy at the meeting.
Whether it was national, state, or local, there was a little something for everyone in this last election. Something to be happy about. Something to be angry about. Something to keep working on. We shall press on.
“Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and Determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “Press On” has solved and will always solve the problems of the human race.” Calvin Coolidge
Please contact my office with any comments, questions or concerns. Email me at; firstname.lastname@example.org. Mail a letter to; Sen. Tom Brewer, Room #1202, P.O. Box 94604, Lincoln, NE 68509 or call us at (402) 471-2628.