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Things are beginning to pick up here in the legislature. There has been a lot of discussion regarding changes to the rules, appointment of senators to special committees, and additional bill introductions. As of last Friday, 430 bills and three legislative resolutions have been introduced by senators. I am anticipating many additional bills will be introduced during the last two days of bill introduction. Committee hearings will begin next week.
In addition to the 14 standing committees that I talked about last week there are 13 special committees. The Executive Board makes the appointments for the special committees. The special committees, commissions and councils are: Building & Maintenance, Committee on Justice Reinvestment Oversight, Education Commission of the States, Homeland Security Policy Group, Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision, Legislative Performance Audit Committee, Legislature’s Planning Committee, Midwestern Higher Education Compact Commission, Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Compact, Nebraska Information Technology Commission, State Council for Interstate Juvenile Supervision, State-Tribal Relations Committee, and Streamlined Sales and Used Tax System.
Of the bills I have introduced, two have already been scheduled to be heard by the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee on Thursday, January 19th at 1:30 P.M. LB 89 and LB 90 were brought to me by the State Auditor, Charlie Jansen. LB 89 clarifies under the Nebraska Budget Act publishing dates are calendar days and not working days. LB 90 will require when any employee of the Auditor of Public Accounts conducts an audit or examination of any public entity, the public entity shall provide suitable accommodations for such employee of the auditor at the location where the requested information and records are kept or stored.
During last Friday’s floor debate we heard the motion to re-reference LB 68 to the Judiciary Committee. This bill was originally referenced to the Judiciary Committee but was re-referenced to the Government, Military and Veteran Affairs Committee. LB 68 would prohibit certain regulation of firearms, ammunition and firearm accessories by counties, cities and villages as prescribed. Senator Chambers was leading the effort to have LB 68 referred to the Judiciary Committee which is one of the committees he is a member of. After more than two hours of debate, the motion to send LB 68 to Judiciary Committee failed on a 17-24 vote. I did not support Senator Chambers motion.