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The legislature last week kept itself busy and productive. All the bills have had their hearings and early in the week the legislature began full day floor debates on Wednesday. The Natural Resources Committee will hold one more hearing before the end of session. It has been a privilege to chair a committee with such great members. This week I would like to update everyone on status of LB 758, and inform you on LB 98, and the forecasting board’s report.
LB 758 was a bill I introduced this year and one of the Natural Resources Committee priority bills. The bill allows the four NRDs that own the N-CORPE project in Lincoln County to make payments in lieu of taxes. This bill ensures that counties will continue to receive property tax dollars, even if TERC came back and ruled against it. LB 758 was passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Ricketts. An emergency clause was attached which makes the bill law immediately after he signed it.
LB 98 will be debated next week. The bill would extend the time a natural resources district’s authority can use a special three-cent levy to fiscal year 2025-2026. The three-cent levy can only be used for groundwater and integrated water management in districts in basins that are fully over appropriated. The levy helps the NRDs meet their obligations under the state’s groundwater management laws by providing them with a tool to raise matching funds that are usually required for access to state funds
Last week the Nebraska Economic Forecasting Advisory Board met and delivered some good news for the state. For the 2017-2018 fiscal year the forecast increased by $25 million, this would go directly into the rainy day fund once collected. For the 2018-2019 fiscal year the forecast was $30 million, this is an increase from the previous year’s forecast. This is important to the state, we are in a budget crisis and need every penny we can get.
Earlier this week a group of fourth graders from the Perkins County public schools came to visit the Capitol. They got a tour of the capitol. I was able to talk with the students about the legislative process and how unique our unicameral is. I always enjoy when people from my district come to visit. If you are ever in Lincoln please feel free to stop by my office.
I always enjoy hearing from the Nebraskans I represent. Please feel free to contact my office with any questions or concerns that you might have. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and my phone number is (402) 471-2805.You can read more about bills and other work of the Legislature at www.nebraskalegislature.gov, and you can click on the Live Video Streaming NET logo to watch sessions, hearings, and other Capitol events.