With the summer already in full swing, the election campaigning has begun. In the past few weeks we have heard current Governor Pete Ricketts is planning to seek re-election, as well as, current US Senator Deb Fischer. Governor Ricketts has already been endorsed by the Nebraska Republican Party’s state central committee. Other candidates seeking political offices are: Charlie Jansen, who is the current State Auditor will be seeking re-election and Bob Evnen who is running for Secretary of State. At this time there is no declared candidate for treasurer of the State of Nebraska. In the legislature there are six senators that will be term limited out plus one senator who has indicated he will not be seeking re-election. This will again result in a significant number of new senators in the body.
Former Nebraska Speaker of the Legislature, Mike Flood has said he will not be running for governor in 2018. Mike Flood who is a republican from Norfolk made these comments after former Governor Dave Heineman told Lincoln’s KLIN radio that Flood would make a great governor. The former senator announced he would be running for governor in the 2014 election but withdrew the following month due to family health issues. Former Governor Heineman also expressed that he is disappointed that the property tax issue has yet to be solved over these past two years. Governor Heineman was in office for ten years and failed to solve the property tax problem. Part of the way the Heineman administration balanced the state’s budget was to cut state aid to schools and counties which caused local property taxes to increase in order to maintain services. It is very clear in Lincoln that former Governor Heineman is not very friendly to current Governor Ricketts or his administration.
This past week the LR 127 Committee had their first two tours to the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution and the Nebraska State Penitentiary. We had the opportunity to sit down with several members of the corrections state and representatives of inmate groups to discuss issues that they are facing.