On May 2, we debated LB 461 which was the Governor’s and Revenue Committee’s comprehensive tax plan. After six hours of debate it fell short of the needed votes to pass. In its original form I did not support LB 461 but after several hours of negotiating with multiple senators we came up with an amendment that would have provided significant property tax relief, as well as, income tax relief that would have been triggered based on revenue growth of the State of Nebraska in future years. This would have been a good bill but in the end not enough senators were comfortable with the concept of triggers based off the forecasting boards’ projection for revenue growth for the state of Nebraska.
LB 98 was debated on general file for close to six hours and unfortunately ended up two votes short of breaking the filibuster. LB 98 would provide over and fully appropriated Natural Resource Districts with an additional 10-year extension, of an existing sunset date, on a 3-cent levy to attempt to reduce water consumption within their NRD boundaries. Although, we were unable to break the filibuster this year, LB 98 is an important issue that I believe we will need to revisit next year.
This week we are dealing with the final passage of our biennium budget. Although, this budget contains more spending than I am comfortable with, ultimately, the State of Nebraska needs to have a budget in place to begin our fiscal year, July 1.
Each Legislative session senators have an opportunity to extend an invitation to the ministers, in our respective districts, to offer the morning prayer. The Chaplain of the Day gives the invocation in the morning before the start of the legislative work day. There is an effort every year to have a faith leader from each district in Nebraska on at least one day. This past week wrapped up with final Chaplain of the Day Pastor Jack Whitcomb from First Congregational United Church of Christ in Stockville, NE. Other chaplains from Legislative District 44 that volunteered to give the morning prayer are: Pastor Rob Clay from Imperial Bible Church in Imperial, Preacher Wayne Vogel from McCook Church of Christ in McCook, Pastor Johnny Walker from West First Chapel in McCook, Pastor Phyllis Dunlop from First Christian Church in Elwood, and Pastor Jason Dowell from Freedom Baptist Church in Stamford. Again, I would like to thank each Pastor for taking the time to travel to Lincoln and offer the morning prayer to the legislature. If you think your pastor might be interested in volunteering for next year feel free to contact my office for more information.